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SABC invites producers to submit proposals for new shows

The South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) Video Entertainment, Content division has invited producers to submit programme proposals for long format drama series.

The aim of the call to action is to acquire compelling and culturally authentic content with editorial uniqueness that resonates with our viewers.

Drama programmes hold the prime-time pillar on SABC 1, SABC 2 and S3 to attract mass audiences and drive the public mandate of the SABC to meet local content, local language and regional production license quotas. The drama genre is also a platform for co-funding partnerships and industry development initiatives to advance the local industry.

Proposal outlines:


SABC 1 is looking for long running drama series that explore the contemporary urban world of “Youth”. The themes and issues should be rooted, resonant and authentic to the realities confronted by the young in this rapidly changing world. The concept should capture the spirit of our times, with a premise that is relevant and resonates with youth culture, music, fashion, retro being cool, side hustles, disruption of the norm. Characters should be original, multi-layered, and complex on a journey of self-discovery and truth. They should be agents of change, committed to forging a future that allows them to realize the fullness of who they are or aspire to be. Key focus areas include but not limited to the LBGTQ+ community, strong female skewed stories and people with disabilities.


SABC2 is issuing a Long Form Open Brief for The Power of Hope. The Power of Hope is inherent part of being a human being. It defines what we want for our futures. Hope involves “planning, motivation and determination” to get what one hopes for. Hope links your past and present to the future. Hope is motivator to take the next step forward to make things happen. Hope requires a clear vision; it keeps the dream alive.

To have hope is to want an outcome that makes your life better in some way. Hope Grows!!! SABC2 is looking for concepts and ideas that broaden and celebrate the South African family in the context of home, Society, and workplace. It remains committed to representing South Africa as part the African continent and projecting the rich diversity of the continent. The channel delivers to diverse cultural and age demographics. Its content is aimed at education informal knowledge building and entertainment though a diverse representation of genre.


SABC3 is issuing a Telenovela Open Brief – New Age Post-Democratic World. The channel is looking for drama series that explore the impact of this seismic shift in society on the individual, the family, community, and institutions at large. It is looking for original, highly authored and story driven by complex characters, set in a world that reflects the complex realities and contradictions of the lives of urban South Africans, where high end brands get them a seat at the table, travel is part of self-care, and code-switching is critical tool in building social capital.

SABC3 wants high end/high concept dramas that speaks to the SABC3 DNA with themes that focus on class distinction, social mobility, career success, policy advancement and that explores the interpersonal dynamics that define this world. Key focus areas include, but not limited to the nature and environment, economic reform, gender equity, mental health and culture and identity.

Criteria to participate in the call to action

  • Creatives must bring a rich understanding of the psychological, social, and cultural context of the subject matter.
  • Must demonstrate a keen understanding of the genre chosen for their proposal.
  • Must have a minimum of three years’ experience in producing Long Form Drama with at least one completed long form drama produced and broadcast.

Submission Requirements

  • Concept, Brief synopsis of the whole series with an indication of the beginning, middle and an end, Controlling Idea, Dramatic Question, Premise, Logline, and a statement of intent.
  • Script sample.
  • Outline of main character journeys over series.
  • Episode summaries for episodes 1-13.
  • Full budget on SABC template.
  • Finance Plan for hybrid funding models.
  • Company Profile.

Submission Details

  • Register and complete your profile on our ECAS Portal before submitting any proposals. This step is crucial to ensure that you meet all requirements, and that we have accurate and comprehensive information to ensure a smooth and efficient process.
  • Only proposals that submitted via the portal will be considered.

Submit your proposal through the designated SABC ECAS Portal available at here.

  • All proposals must be submitted no later than 23:59, 28 July 2023 to be accepted.
  • The SABC will send electronic receipts to producers 14 working days after their submission.
  • The volume of the submissions and timelines for responses will be communicated accordingly.
  • Please ensure you refer to the commissioning guidelines on the SABC website to understand how to submit your proposal /programme to the SABC.

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