By Zodidi Mhlana

There have been mixed reactions to the announcement that the SABC is launching a 24-hour news channel that will go live next month. William Bird, director of Media Monitoring Africa, welcomed the launch of the channel, but questioned the reasoning behind it being broadcast on satellite platform DStv.

“Why would DStv give them money for the channel? Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) is around the corner, so why would they want to launch on DStv. We need to know what agreement they have reached with DStv,” Bird said.

When the public broadcaster’s group CEO, Lulama Mokhobo, announced the launch of the channel this week, she said when the DTT launched, the channel would be available on that platform as well. Mokhobo said DStv would be contributing an amount of money to the channel over the next five years.

Bird said the channel would be able to compete with’s 24-hour news channel.

“It will bring more language diversity and more in-depth news analysis about marginalised people, gender issues, and poverty and land issues,” he said.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said DStv was the only platform that they used now.

“We are going to reach out to more people after the launch of DTT. The money that DStv is paying us is a confidential matter,” he said.

Communications Workers Union spokesperson Matankana Mothapo said: “We are happy with the progress that the SABC is making. We hope that this launch will afford job opportunities to many young people. We hope that poor people will be able to access to the channel.”

– This article appeared online on The New Age website.