SABC's ready to roll

2005-03-14 09:49

Cape Town - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is geared to launch its regional television stations as soon as the public broadcaster gets the go ahead.

Applications for two regional television stations, SABC4 and SABC5, have been made to the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

"The broadcaster will be able to launch SABC4 and SABC5 quickly and will start broadcasting if Icasa awards the licences," Paul Setsetse, head of corporate communications, said on Sunday.

According to the licence application, SABC4 will broadcast in Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, the Northern Cape and Free State in Afrikaans, English, Tswana, Sepedi, Sotho, Venda and Tsonga.

The broadcasting languages on SABC5 will be Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele and Seswati and will be broadcast in the Western and Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West.

Both regional stations will broadcast local content in primetime viewing from 18:00 to 22:00. SABC4 will have its head office in Mafikeng and SABC5 in Cape Town.

The regional stations will not be available on DStv like the rest of the SABC channels (SABC1, 2, 3 and SABC Africa). Programmes will mainly centre round religion, news and actuality.

"The news will come from the various provinces. There will be stories that do not make the main bulletins and that are of interest to viewers in the regions," Setsetse said.

He confirmed that the SABC also plans to extend its presence in Africa by creating several news bureaus on the continent.

"We are looking at Nigeria and have correspondents in Nairobi, Kenya, but we want to expand our presence. The SABC also wants to strengthen its presence through new news bureaus in Central and West Africa."