Johannesburg - South Africa’s newest 24-hour news channel, Africa News Network7 (ANN7), will start broadcasting live on DStv channel 405, on August 21.
The ANN7 mandate is said to focus on “constructive, nation-building stories in the interests of building a culture of unity and pride in SA”.
“We are excited about launching this channel. I am looking forward to presenting our viewers with a channel that is unique in its profile and choice of programmes. ANN7 is a strong addition to existing news channels in the media landscape of this country,” said Nazeem Howa, Director at Infinity Media, the networks promoter of the channel.
“We understand that as we grow through the years of democracy, our viewing needs become more diverse and we as pillars of democracy also need to evolve. This channel will certainly be a significant step forward in that direction,” he added.
The channel has enlisted the likes of journalist Chantal Rutter-Dros, kwaito heavyweight Arthur Mafokate, and TV personality Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon as it seeks to give coverage to a wide range of topics from sport to current affairs, politics and entertainment.
ANN7 is not without some measure of controversy, however. The channel is owned by the Gupta family, who have strong links to President Jacob Zuma.
The Guptas were at the centre of a political storm in April when they allegedly used their influence to secure the Waterkloof Air Base outside Pretoria for a private wedding party plane.
It has also been alleged that the SABC rushed it’s own 24-hour news channel onto air last week in a bid to beat ANN7 to the punch. This, despite finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s claim that the budget for the channel had not been approved.
Gordhan was reported as saying “this is not the time for vanity projects”. But the SABC still went ahead.
ANN7 will be available to DStv customers with the following packages: DStv Access, DStv Family, DStv Compact, DStv Extra and DStv Premium. - IOL