Soweto is to get a community television channel from 1 July, writes Bate Felix.

Soweto TV
will be on air for 24 hours a day, seven days a week after it was granted a 12-month license by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) . It will reach Soweto and surrounding areas including the East and West Rand.

The community channel first aired for a month in March 2005, and again in November / December 2006 for eight hours a day, under a temporary special events license from Icasa.

Tshepo Thafeng, CEO of the channel, said, “Soweto TV is aimed at fulfilling the objective of educating, entertaining and, over and above, empowering the local community. That is why we have to come up with programming that will accommodate the community of Soweto.

“It will be the voice for the voiceless. We’ll be showcasing new talent from time to time as in the previous broadcasts.”

“Our aim is to give youths of Soweto the opportunity to showcase their talents to the community and at the same time prepare them for the bigger stage,” Thafeng said.

Thafeng said they are working with the experienced independent production house Urban Brew Studios to generate content that will fulfill their mandate.

He said that though they are still developing the schedule, programming will be a mix of local news, sports, entertainment, education and other relevant issues.

“The programmes will deal with issues affecting youths, gender issues and also kids programming in various languages,” he said.

Soweto Community Television is a section 21 – non-profit company registered in 2004. The company has been running mostly on donations from corporate bodies and individuals who volunteer their time.

Thafeng said they are now talking to advertisers who want to partner with them.