After nine months of being off air, 50/50 is back on South African television screens. The programme has built up a huge contingent of loyal viewers over the past 27 years that it has been on air.
It has provided a crucial stage for environmental- and human-focused issues to be discussed and communicated to the broader public, covering issues such as crocodiles dying within the Kruger National Park (KNP), tuberculosis in buffalo and proposed developments and mining in wilderness areas.
The new series will build on this solid foundation, with producers from all over the country providing 50/50 with the most up-to-date goings-on from the Western Cape to the KwaZulu Natal Wetlands.
The Southern African Natural History Unit (Sanhu), KNP's resident film crew and also a production unit for 50/50, is working on a number of interesting stories and is looking forward to an exciting season.
"We are very excited to start making inserts for the new series of 50/50. The crocodiles are still dying in the gorge, and while the cause remains elusive, the team investigating the crocodile deaths has been conducting incredible research while 50/50 has been off.
From catching four metre plus crocodiles, whilst perched precariously on boats, to burning thousands of dead barbel carcasses after they were found floating bloated and rotten in the gorge, we have been there to catch it all", explains Sanhu managing producer Antoinette Goosen.
"The nice thing about producing stories for 50/50, is their viewers are loyal and like to be kept informed about what is going on, especially when it comes to nature and conservation. This allows us to follow all kinds of interesting stories, not just the sensationalist ones.
50/50 have just commissioned a couple of nice inserts from us, one looking at a 'Stress in Rhino' project currently being undertaken in Kruger and another following the progress of the Endangered Wildlife Trust as they undertake a photographic census of saddle billed storks, where tourists are making a huge difference."
"We have also been fortunate to have Marike Bekker join our team. Marike, a stalwart of South African television, will present most of the 50/50 inserts."
Marike Bekker's career in media began in 1982 in the early years of the SABC. She formed part of the original team that saw the launch of the first ever nature television programme in South Africa, 50/50.
On returning home after studying and working in the UK, she launched a television production house in Johannesburg, Marike Williams Films. The name changed to Homebrew Films in 1989. They delivered work to the SABC, M-Net and the international broadcaster The Discovery Channel.
In 1997 she moved to Cape Town and Homebrew Films expanded to produce work for etv, and for the launch of the early KykNET with programmes such as Groen and Pampoen tot Perlemoen.
She compiled two cookbooks called 'Roer! met die Sterre' and 'Roer!,' from their lifestyle cooking show on kykNET.
After selling Homebrew Films to a business partner in 2008, Marike recently joined Sanhu as a producer as well as field presenter for local conservation programme 50/50.