Bone SA

SABC Education launched 1000 Lives, on 25th May 2019. It’s an original medical docu-drama series premised around organ donation and transplantation, which is often the patient’s only hope for survival. 

Compassionate with a tone of sensitivity, each episode tells a story of a patient who lives with a dysfunctional organ but hopes for the gift of life from an organ donor that will let them live fully again. 

It further explores illnesses caused by dysfunctional organs – the heart, lung, kidney, and retina. The series features South Africa’s world-class heart specialists, surgeons and researchers, and the patients whose lives they aim to save.                                          

Only one in ten South Africans will receive an organ, however currently there are over 4000 people on the waiting lists and the match has to be perfect in order to proceed. The wait for a viable organ can take a week or even years. “One of our key focus areas is health and 1000 Lives is a high-quality project that assists in the delivery of compelling content for television audiences,” said Danie Swart, Head of SABC Education. 

The series is produced by Impilo Life’s award-winning producer and director team Pieter de Vos and Jan Groenewald. Producer, Pieter de Vos, says the production is an emotional rollercoaster ride of highs, celebrating life, and then deep troughs of despondency as our participants are kept waiting … waiting for life-saving organs. A cerebral response becomes so difficult to maintain – yet so essential to stay on top of production demands. 

Jan Groenewald adds, “The opportunity to direct 1000 Lives is a life-changing journey. Every morning is a birth. It opens a window onto an amazing day of celebrations of life even as one loses it. Even death now makes perfect sense as I hear music from a far distance, from the heart of the universe, honouring the bravery of organ recipients and the generosity of donors.” 

Surekha Singh, Commissioning Editor ends, “I wanted something moving, an extraordinary format with a cinematic appeal for SABC 2 viewers. Together with the producer and director, we have created a unique heart experience of broadcasting. We thank the donors, recipients and their families and medical teams who have allowed us into their lives to share their journey.” 

NB: The series encourages organ donation as life gives life. 

Catch 1000 Lives on SABC2,  at 18:00, or For more information contact Nqabomzi Bikitsha on 0117145166 or email 

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