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Soweto TV goes regional
21 June 2011

People are now able to watch Soweto TV across Gauteng, with the installation of a new antenna. The channel promises to rise to the occasion.

TELEVISION viewers in greater Johannesburg and Gauteng at large will now have access to South Africa’s first free-to-air community television station, Soweto TV.

 

The launch in 2007
The launch in 2007
The station recently announced the addition of a new 360 degree antenna that would allow viewers across a wider geographical area absolute access to the channel at no extra cost. The station opened its spread on 16 June.

 

It came after the old Bop TV transmitter was removed. It had restricted the TV station to broadcasting locally, only reaching Soweto.

With the new antenna, Soweto TV will reach as far as Heidelberg, Benoni, Springs and Nigel in the east; Tembisa, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging and Sasolburg in the south; and Pretoria North and Mamelodi in the north.

“We [had planned] to do it in May, but we wanted to match the event with some of the historic moments of the Soweto township. It is a big step for us; we believe it is the start of greater things to come,” said the station’s executive producer, Wandi Nzimande.

Soweto TV is available on DSTV, the broadcaster for which viewers have to pay. Nzimande said the increasing support for Soweto TV on DSTV showed the affinity that people who lived outside Soweto had for the station.

“Our role as a channel remains the same: more real TV; more real faces and real voices.”

According to Nzimande, the station has about 1,7 million viewers.

The chairman of Soweto TV, Murphy Morobe, issued a statement saying: “This is yet another crucial milestone for Soweto TV. With greater Gauteng now within our reach, we now must invest in content that has relevance for the each and every locality in which the channel can be viewed.”

Echoing his sentiments, the station’s operations manager, Percy Langa, said: “The people of Johannesburg and Soweto are excited. Now the community is bound even closer together. It’s like having a television station in your back yard.”

Soweto TV started from humble beginnings. In 2005, it was granted a special events licence to broadcast for 10 days. It grew from strength to strength and in 2007 it became the first community television station to be granted a 24-hour broadcasting licence from the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa, Icasa.

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