Best free video streaming services in South Africa

South African residents with an active Internet connection have a range of streaming services from which to choose, with several that are free to use.

Some of these services, such as AfriforumTV, are free to use without being subjected to ads, while others are ad-supported.

Although these free streaming services often don’t offer catalogues as extensive as those from prominent providers like Netflix and Disney+, they can offer a lot of viewing pleasure without making a dent in your bank account.

These services don’t only include traditional TV content like news, sports, TV shows, and movies.

Platforms like Twitch and YouTube offer extensive catalogues of user-generated content that cover a broad range of topics.

Ten free-to-use streaming services available to South African viewers are listed below.


AfriforumTV

South African civil rights organisation AfriForum launched its free Afrikaans streaming service — Afriforum TV — in April 2022.

It offers a range of content, including news, school sports, documentaries, lifestyle, and general entertainment.

However, its core offering is its Afrikaans reality TV content, which covers activities like motoring, travel, politics, history, and hunting.

The service appears to be ad-free, at least for now, and those who wish to use the platform must create an account on the AfriforumTV website.


DStv Stream

MultiChoice’s DStv offers several channels that users can watch for free without signing up for a subscription.

These include news channels like Al Jazeera and eNCA, kids channels like PBS Kids, and Channel O for music enthusiasts.

It also offers limited video-on-demand content, such as sports and kids’ programming.

DStv Stream is available on several platforms, including various smart TV operating systems, such as Android, iOS, Huawei, and on the web.

Customers must create a MultiChoice ID with an email or cellphone number and a password to start streaming.


eVOD

eMedia launched eVOD in August 2021, offering both paid and free tiers.

The free tier gives users access to most of the popular soaps and dubbed telenovas broadcast on E-tv. These include Scandal and Imbewu.

It also offers a range of eVOD Original movies and several older Hollywood movies across genres including action, comedy, horror, thriller, romance, and drama.

Users can open an account on the eVOD website with their email or phone number and a password to start streaming.


Plex

While Plex is better known for its media server software through which users can sort local-stored movies and TV shows and access them remotely, it also offers free ad-supported content.

This is found in its “Movies and Shows” service, which it hosts itself.

However, it should be noted that most of the free content available is either very old, obscure, or in a foreign language.

Those interested can access Plex on the web, through its mobile apps for Android and iOS, through its smart TV app, or on PlayStation and Xbox.


Rlaxx TV

RlaxxTV launched in South Africa in July 2022, offering more than 80 ad-supported live TV and on-demand content channels nationwide.

The Germany-based streaming service features a TV guide similar to that available on DStv to help users keep track of channels and programming.

Viewers in South Africa can choose from a wide range of international channels, such as Comedy Dynamics, Thrill One, and Gusto TV, as well as channels that are more specific to the region.

Rlaxx TV doesn’t require users to sign up, and it is available on the web, Android, iOS, and various smart TV operating systems.


RugbyPass TV

World Rugby launched RugbyPass TV in August 2023, just in time for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The platform provides live coverage of the Rugby world’s top events, including the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups, the WXV competition, and the HSBC Sevens.

While it can’t livestream these events in regions like South Africa, where other broadcasters have rights, it offers a range of on-demand content in the country.


SABC+

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) took over the TelkomONE streaming service in November 2022 and rebranded it SABC+.

The streaming service inherited all of TelkomONE’s subscribers through the takeover, and it features the same live TV channels available on the broadcaster’s free-to-air broadcasting service, in addition to the SABC News channel.

Viewers can also access on-demand content, including soaps and TV shows like Uzalo, 7de Laan, and Generation.

SABC+ is available on the web, as an Android or iOS app or a Hisense smart TV app.


Twitch

While it doesn’t offer traditional TV content, Twitch lets viewers watch others play and react to games for free. Users can also opt to subscribe to certain streamers for a fee.

The platform boasts roughly 140 million monthly active users with access to numerous streamers.

These can include people playing instruments and making music live on the platform, casual comedic content creators, and hardcore esports players in multiplayer first-person shooters.

Viewers can watch Twitch over the web via its mobile app, PlayStation or Xbox, and smart TV apps and media boxes.


Viu

Viu is a Hong Kong-based streaming service that offers both paid ad-free and ad-supported free services.

On its ad-supported service, viewers can access a limited range of SABC and E-tv soaps and older Hollywood Movies and TV Shows.

Viu Originals and Korean Content is only available to those who pay R29 per month for a Premium subscription.

The platform can be accessed through its website and its Android or iOS apps.


YouTube

YouTube offers an immense catalogue of user-generated content, with hundreds of hours of video uploaded to the platform each minute.

There is video content on pretty much any topic you can imagine, from history, science, and religion to movies, music, and gaming.

By sharing advertising revenue with creators, YouTube has made some users very wealthy. It has also added other ways for viewers to support their favourite channels, including paid memberships.

YouTube is available on the web, as an Android and iOS app, and across a wide range of smart TV operating systems and media boxes.

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Best free video streaming services in South Africa