Think CNN for South Africa. The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) just launched its 24-hour news channel, kicking off its first broadcast on DStv’s channel 404, reports South Africa Info. President Jacob Zuma was the first guest.
Zuma spoke at the launch at the SABC’s studios in Johannesburg and said the new channel would advance the constitutional right of South Africans to have diversified news.
“The new channel came at the right time as the country prepared to celebrate 20 years of democracy, Zuma said, adding that he hoped it would cover more than just crime stories, and showcase what ‘this beautiful country has achieved in recent years’,” reports South Africa Info.
According to Communications Minister Yunus Carrim, the new channel would help to close the “information divide” in the country, while winning back viewers for the broadcaster.
The launch was not without controversy. Some media experts question the channel’s financial sustainability. But said Carrim that “such channels are a risk all over the world.”
SABC is expected to reach roughly 20-million viewers.
The new channel is broadcasting on pay-television. DStv, Multichoice’s multi-channel African digital satellite service, was launched in 1995.