SABC preps African-language news net
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has announced plans to launch a 24-hour news channel in various African languages in April.
SABC already runs the English-language SABC News service, which dropped local-language bulletins in 2015 and moved them to slots on SABC1, SABC2 and YouTube.
Now the pubcaster will house its local-language news on a dedicated news channel on its SABC+ streaming service, as well as a DTT channel that will sit alongside the existing SABC1, SABC2, SABC3 and SABC Sport channels.
The move is in line with the public broadcaster’s obligation to provide universal access and reposition its local-language news to offer more than parliamentary proceedings and include bulletins and current affairs in African languages.
Moshoeshoe Monare, SABC’s group executive for news and current affairs, said: “This is our response to the demand from millions of our viewers yearning for extensive news coverage and a dedicated channel in their own languages. The response from our viewers was phenomenal and this is not a replication of our English news channel. We are telling different stories of our communities and reflecting people’s aspirations in their own languages.
“This public news service is an added platform to serve mainly communities that are not necessarily reached by mainstream commercial media. These are millions of viewers who wait until evening, to watch less than half-an-hour bulletins in their own languages. SABC News is well positioned to rise to this challenge, because of its decades of experience in public broadcasting in indigenous languages.”