DStv will launch a special Easter pop-up channel for Christian faithfuls during the upcoming Easter weekend, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced.
In a statement on Monday, Ndabeni-Abrahams said “Africa Easter Channel” will launch on Thursday, 9 April and will run until Monday, 13 April.
It will run in collaboration with TBN Africa (DStv channel 343) and will offer music and sermons to keep viewers “engaged and fulfilled” during Easter, Ndabeni-Abrahams said.
South Africa is currently under a 21-day nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Its restrictions mean that Christian faithfuls will not be able to congregate for their annual Easter worship services. Ndabeni-Abrahams therefore called on broadcasters to “assist the religious sector” last week.
MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela said, “We are happy to have immediately responded to the Minister’s call to assist millions of South African worshippers who regard Easter as a pivotal period of worship.
“As a responsible broadcaster, we are more than happy to partner with the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies as we afford worshippers [a chance] to observe Easter from the comfort of their homes.”
DStv channel 344
For her part, Ndabeni-Abrahams said, “We appreciate MultiChoice’s response to our call for an industry-wide intervention to ensure that religious programming, especially over the Easter weekend, is produced and accessible to millions of South Africans.”
TBN Africa’s managing director Lucky Mbiko added, “We have responded to this call by partnering with churches and some of the biggest gospel artists to bring the best Easter worship experience to as many viewers as possible.”
The Africa Easter Channel will run on DStv channel 344 and will feature prominent gospel artists such as Rebecca Malope, Dr Tumi, Lebo Sekgobela, Hillsong and William McDowell, among others.
It will also air recorded messages from various churches, including the Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches.
Earlier in March, DStv Now also made available 13 channels for all South Africans to watch free of charge, including several 24-hour news channels.
DStv also opened up more SuperSport channels to non-premium subscribers from 19 March, 2020 until 30 April, 2020.