SA gets third 24-hours news channel

22 August 2013

South Africa’s third 24-hour news channel, Africa News Network 7 (ANN7), went live on DStv channel 405 on Wednesday.

This follows the launch of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC’s) own 24-hour news channel on DStv channel 404 earlier this month. DStv, Multichoice’s multi-channel African digital satellite service, also hosts etv’s eNCA, CNBC Africa and BDTV.

ANN7, which is funded by the Infinity Media consortium, was launched by The New Age Media in Sandton. The new station, boasting a strong complement of 150 journalists, is headquartered at Midrand, Johannesburg.

The channel’s presenters include former cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, who will host a weekly talk show “Straight Talk”, and businesswoman Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon, who will host “Vuka Africa”. Kwaito artist Arthur Mafokate will host a weekly sport show called “Hola Weekend”.

According to a media statement on the news channel’s website, it will focus on “constructive, nation-building stories in the interests of building a culture of unity and pride in South Africa”.

ANN7 editor-in-chief Moegsien Williams told Business Day that the channel was ready “to bring the story as it happens with depth and perspective.

“We want to bring a balanced discourse from all from all sides of the story, expose corruption and maladministration where we find it, and highlight stories that affect the ordinary man,” Williams said.

The government has welcomed the channel as a boost for media diversity in South Africa.

Phumla Williams, the acting CEO of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), said it would “contribute immensely to South Africa’s dynamic media industry,” providing a platform for further shaping public discourse on pertinent matters.

SAnews.gov.za, with additional reporting by SAinfo