SABC news channel extends its footprint in Africa
President Jacob Zuma on Friday officially launched the expansion of the 24-hour SABC News Channel 404 to other countries on the continent.
When the public broadcaster launched the news channel in August 2013, it was only seen in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, but it has now extended its footprint to 50 African countries.
Addressing the glittering event in Midrand, President Zuma said the nation had great expectations from the new channel and that he wanted to see stories of success from the African continent so that we can learn from one another.
“SABC News 404 must be a mirror on which we see ourselves as the African people,” he said.
“It must tell the story of our day to day lives, the story of our hardworking people who wake up every morning and try to make something of their lives, and the story of the work that goes into making our country a better place each day, done by millions of people each day,” he said.
President Zuma said this is a long overdue move for the public broadcaster, adding that South Africa is an integral part of the African continent.
“Our hopes, dreams successes and challenges, are intertwined with those of the African continent. Our story is the story of the African continent.
“It is thus important that we are going to start sharing our success stories with the continent more extensively. We are also happy that South Africans will be now more exposed to what is happening in the continent,” he said.
The President said freedom of expression is very important to the South African people as they fought tirelessly and relentlessly to obtain such freedoms.
He said freedom of the media must include access to the media and information for our people.
“Through the SABC, we are moving ahead in realising that goal.There are successes in education in Zimbabwe, successes in information communication technologies in Rwanda, and indeed many other countries have a lot to share with us, and us with them.
“The SABC News Channel 404 must bridge the physical borders that divide us and bring us as African nations together.
“We want to know the music they play in each African country, the food and the culture. And surely they want to know the same about us. SABC News Channel 404 must provide that platform for better understanding and appreciation of the rich culture in the continent,” he said.
President Zuma said it was significant that stories will be told by Africans to Africans.
“As Africans, we still face the disadvantage of having our stories being told by people whose perspective is foreign to the continent.
“This must change. Africa has several good stories to tell, and these must be told. Ours is a continent of hope,” he said.
SABC Chief Operations Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said the public broadcaster was different from other media houses because it was not apologetic about covering positive stories.
On 11 May 2015, SABC launched an entertainment channel, SABC Encore on the DSTV platform, on channel 156. This was the 5th television channel under the SABC. - SAnews.gov.za
IMAGE supplied by www.youthvillage.co.za
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