The agreement between the SABC and Sentech to broadcast on the signal distributor’s direct to home satellite (DTH-S) platform is ground-breaking, the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) said on Wednesday.
The agreement will see the SABC providing SABC one, two and three as well as SABC News, which is currently airing on DStv, while Sentech will manage the distribution channel for the DTH-S set-top boxes.
“We are excited to note that SABC will add two more channels, which are currently under development, as soon as they are ready,” CWU spokesman Matankana Mothapo said in a statement.
The public broadcaster was meant to make services available to South Africans in all official languages and include significant amounts of educational programming.
He said this was a massive step in the right direction.
“Over five million South Africans cannot access television services due to non-terrestrial television networks in the remote areas. This initiative will finally talk to universal access that we have advocated for.”
The union was concerned that the SABC’s 24-hour news channel launched in August was on the Multichoice pay television platform which was not available to the poor and the working class.
“We therefore urge the public broadcaster to forge ahead with its programme and constitutional mandate,” Mothapo said.