Four things you need to know about Newzroom Afrika

03 May 2019 - 10:07 By Unathi Nkanjeni
South Africans have a new current affairs channel to look forward to.
South Africans have a new current affairs channel to look forward to.
Image: 123RF/marcociannarel

Newzroom Afrika, South Africa's new 24-hour news channel, was launched on Thursday, just in time for Wednesday's elections.

The channel, which broadcasts on DStv channel 405, replaces the formerly Gupta-owned ANN7, which was taken off air last year, despite a rebranding attempt.

So what's it all about and who is behind the new kid on the block?

Here are five things you need to know:

Winning bidder

Multichoice announced Newzroom Afrika as the winning bidder for a slot on DStv last year, after the group decided not to renew its contract with Mzwanele Manyi's Afro Worldview.

The channel reportedly faced 111 competitors.

CEO of M-Net, Yolisa Phahle, said Newzroom Afrika had "met all the qualifying criteria."

100% black-owned

The channel is a new, 100 percent black-owned, 50 percent female-owned business.

According to Multichoice, Newzroom Afrika will "enhance and enrich the news offering on DStv", while creating a new black-owned entrant in South African news media.

Major players

Two television producers and entrepreneurs, Thokozani Nkosi of Eclipse TV and Thabile Ngwato of Rapid Innovations, are the brains behind Newzroom Afrika. Nkosi ran Eclipse TV for 10 years and produced several gospel shows, among them  Big Up and Gospel Time.

Meanwhile, Ngwato was an SABC news anchor for a number of years.

The line-up

Television executive Zanele Mthembu and veteran journalists JJ Thabane and Malebo Phage will head the newsroom.

Newzroom Afrika’s lead anchor is Cathy Mohlahlana.

Business commentator Ayabonga Cawe will focus on the small business sector, while former MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo along with Gugu Mhlungu and Natasha Thorp will lead the breakfast show.