Rebecca Hawkes | 02-08-2013
A new 24-hour television news channel from South Africa's state broadcaster has been officially unveiled by President Jacob Zuma.
Speaking from the Johannesburg suburb Uitsaaisentrum, where the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is headquartered, Zuma said diversified news broadcasting will help forward the constitutional rights of the country's citizens.
Communications Minister Yunus Carrim added that although the news channel would be carried on South African satellite pay-TV platform DStv, the public broadcaster would remain independent.
"The SABC must serve all of our people. The SABC is not meant to be elite ... It is the responsibility of the SABC to reduce the [information] divide," Carrim was quoted as saying by Biz-Community.
While some have reservations about the channel's financial sustainability, he added that "such channels are a risk all over the world," reported SouthAfrica.info.
The minister added that the state broadcaster can help nation-build in the sometimes fragile country, which will celebrate 20 years of democracy in April 2014.
President Zuma added that he hoped the 24-hour news channel would showcase what "this beautiful country has achieved in recent years".
The channel, which is expected to reach around 20 million viewers in Africa, is available on DStv channel 404.