The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) together with the Department of Communications (DoC), national signal distributor Sentech and the Vhembe District Municipality in the Limpopo Province will switch on a low power transmitter on 18 August in the community of Mhinga.
This marks the first time that the community will have access to the full range of programming on the SABC’s television services, allowing the citizens access to the SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 television channels, as well as SABC radio stations such as Munghana Lonene FM.
According to an SABC statement, the public broadcaster strives to provide access to all citizens regardless of age, income, location or education. The statement reads: “Intrinsic to what we do is providing news and programmes that inform, educate and entertain while continually fostering and nurturing our national identity and cultural diversity.
“Universal Access refers to the right for all South Africans to access free-to-air SABC services. There are still an estimated three million South Africans who do not have free-to-air access to any SABC television and radio services.
“Together with Sentech, the national signal distributor, and the DoC, the SABC has embarked on a project to increase the coverage of its services by installing 300 new low-power transmitter sites across South Africa over a three year period – one hundred per annum. This provides access to terrestrial television and radio services to the present underserved, mostly rural areas of South Africa.’
The infrastructures of these low-power transmitters are funded through the payment of television licence fees by the South African public.
Says SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago: “Making a real difference to the lives of all South Africans is what the SABC is committed to delivering in terms of its public broadcasting mandate. Funding this obligation is no easy task, and the pro-active collection of television licence fees countrywide goes a long way towards providing broadcasting services to the millions of South Africans who tune in to radio or television services on a daily basis.
“In line with its mandate of providing universal access, the SABC will continue with the roll-out of similar transmitters where there is no accessibility to broadcasting services throughout the country.’