Tshwane Community TV, billed as a 24-hour community television channel, is expected to launch at the end of this month (March 2009), although it missed its December 2008 deadline of being on air and broadcasting in Pretoria.

Tshwane TV, a non-profit community-based TV station established under the terms of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), aims to establish an independent, sustainable community station that provides access to channels of communications.

The station has committed itself to promoting human rights, social justice and community cultural development. Its programmes have been designed to address all of the above within Tshwane. Following broad policy areas with subsections constitutes the programming policy and will govern all programming decisions.

Informing and educating

Tshwane TV programming is aimed at informing and educating, and providing a platform and basis for dialogue, as well as entertainment with maximum exposure given to local talent - arts and sports among others - cultural exchange and promotion of the Tshwane community culture with a bias towards community development.

Station CEO, Kopano Molefe, says the channel will cover 85% of neighbourhoods in Tshwane metro. Broadcasting will be on an analogue frequency as an independent channel distributed from a hired Sentech transmitter. The main focus will be on issues affecting residents in the metro.

"There are a number of issues affecting local communities and we hope to take them up with the municipality. We did research and identified that structures that we can work with," says Molefe.

Monthly meetings and imbizos

The channel will hold live broadcasts of the municipality's monthly meetings and the executive mayor's imbizos. "This will enable residents to communicate with the municipality regarding issues affecting them. Residents will also be able to know what goes on during council meetings," he explains.

Tshwane metro is home to many, including diplomatic missions. "We have embassies and high commissions in our area and they, too, will be catered for," says Molefe.

Source: Biz Community website, www.bizcommunity.com; original article written by Tshepiso Seopa, at http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/66/32288.html