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Batho Pele Principles

First Commercial Television Station in Limpopo goes on air

By: Emmaculate Cindi

The 30th of September 2020 will remain a historic moment in the media industry for the province of Limpopo as the first ever commercial television channel was launched. The limpopo tv channel situated in the surburb of Bendor in Polokwane, will tell provincial stories  from the province to the world.

It was not an easy journey for the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Larry Matlala to realise his vision that he had since 2017. From legal fraternity to the media space, Matlala had to leave his employment at a legal firm , his studies and sell his home to fund the channel.

All he wanted was to start a high definition satellite television channel during the time when South Africa was in the process of switching from analogue to digital transmission which was already operational in London where he was residing. He wanted to take the London experience and bring it to his home province.

Even though established service providers in the country turned him down because they reasoned that Limpopo province was not conndusive for such a state of the art broadcast because of lack of appropriet infrastructure. For the channel to carry a digital signal, he needed to broadcast it usinng fibre optics infrastructure which caters for large data trannsfers at incredibly high speeds. He was encouraged to lauch his dream in Gauteng province where there is access to fibre optics. He remained steadfast and resolute that limpopo tv will be launched and based in Limpopo. As soon as optic fibre infrastructure was rolled out in Polokwane, Mr Matlala resumed his dream.

The channel is available in the entire country including Southern African Development Community (SADC) region using any decoder regardless of the brand or service provider as long as you are able to access IS-20 satellite.

“I have seen it happening while I was in London and I knew that it is possible to bring digital satellite television to people’s homes as long as they have connection to a dish and decoder. We want to showcase Limpopo to the country and the world with our content. We are using the IS-20 satellite signal where countries such as Kenya, Botswana, Malawi and many other countries in the region have access to” said Matlala.

After officially cutting the ribbon on behalf of the Premier, MEC for Public Works and Infrastructure, Mr Namane Dickson Masemola committed the Limpopo provinncial government to using the channel to communicate government programmes particularly finalising the Covid 19 Economic Recovery Plan.

The limpopo tv channel is now available free-to-air with eighteen hours of fresh content daily on any decoder. This is where stories from the province will begin to be told using local on air personalities, from news, current affairs, soapies and entertainment programmes.