Jeremy Bense

Membership Number: SAF01608

Contact Details

Secondary Web Address:
Province:Gauteng (North)

Profession Details

Media:Radio, Internet - Website and Blogging, Trade Publications, Television
Speciality:General, Travel, Legal, Environment, Culture, Food, Training
Profession:Writer, Copywriter, Translator, Script Writer


Having matriculated at Pretoria Boys High School I went on to complete a bachelors degree at the University of South Africa, majoring in English and Afrikaans/Nederlands, with German and Communication Studies as sub-majors and Latin, Philosophy and French as elective subjects.


During the course of my working career I have accumulated some 22 years’ experience in the electronic media, mainly in television/video production.  For the past 12 years I have operated as a freelancer specialising in scriptwriting, copywriting, text editing and technical translation (German to English). 

Brief overview of past and current fields of experience:

1990-2002– scriptwriter/director in SA Government Communication Service video production unit – responsible for various documentary, educational and public information projects.  These included nature conservation and environmental themes, school science and biology programmes and official coverage of the inauguration of President Mandela in 1994.  As a scriptwriter/director and location cameraman, I spent four consecutive summers in Antarctica documenting the construction of South Africa’s SANAE IV base at Vesleskarvet.  This entailed spending up to five months each year at sea and on the continent.  My involvement with this project allowed me to fulfil a childhood ambition to travel to Antarctica, while also acquiring first-hand knowledge and understanding of the challenges involved in polar logistics, construction and exploration.

From 2002 – present (freelance) -

·        Corporate

Working as a free-lance writer, I have developed scripts and copy for projects commissioned by Grinaker-LTA (construction), Sasol (petro-chemical), ESKOM (power utility) and Gautrain (high-speed rail link) amongst others. These have included major construction and industrial projects such as the Mozambique Gas Pipeline (Sasol), MOZAL Phase 2 and Hillside Aluminium Phase 2(BHP-Billiton).  In most cases, the package includeda general orientation programme and specific modules covering industrial relations, health and safety, environmental protection and local content.


The Gautrain project was somewhat different in as much as I was responsible for creating narratives and background information for a website aimed primarily at children.  This entailed explaining engineering, environmental and commercial concepts (including matters such as environmental impact, the functioning of a tunnel boring machine and private-public partnerships) in a manner accessible to school children while still being factually and technically correct.  This posed an interesting challenge and the website won an International Union of Public Transport award in 2007 for encouraging young people to use public transport. 

·        Broadcast

Since 2001 I have been responsible for scripting (studio links, location links and voice-over) Eastern Mosaic - a magazine programme currently broadcast in South Africa on SABC2 and elsewhere on the continent.  I have also generated copy for Eastern Mosaic’s website and marketing material (electronic & print).


Between 2003 and 2007 I was involved in scripting four series of Africa Within – a lifestyle show broadcast by the SABC’s Africa Channel

·        Copywriting / editing

In terms of copywriting and editing, Spoor & Fisher has been a long-term corporate client is.  This intellectual property law firm has representation in Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA – and my work mainly entails drafting marketing material and explanatory copy in plain English for a business/R&D readership.

·        Translation

My first serious involvement in the field of German-English translation resulted from Funkwerk Security Communications GmbH for assistance.  Based on the results of this case, I have gone on to translate some 50 marketing and technical documents/presentations over the past two-and-a-half years.   My approach to translation is based not only on technical accuracy but also on rendering the meaning as intended by the original author in terms of style, idiom and register.  As a scriptwriter/copywriter, I consider it essential to have a sound understanding of the subject at hand and am accustomed to begin each job with research in order to familiarise myself with the concepts, terminology and (if required) technical jargon involved.  I apply the same principle to translation.

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