Cape Town – The Afro Worldview – formerly ANN7 – channel was shut down by MultiChoice on Monday evening following the end of their five-year contract. This decision has led to 350 workers losing their jobs following lack of communication from management.
Secretary-general of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) Aubrey Tshabalala expressed they were unhappy with the way management dealt with channel’s termination. Workers were simply informed to not return to work until further notice. No further information on remuneration or future employment was conveyed. The CWU is negotiating for MultiChoice to appeal to the new licensee of the channel to appoint affected employees.
Afrotone Media Holdings chairperson and Afro Worldview owner, Mzwanele Manyi, experienced difficulty in recreating the brand. In 2017, Manyi bought the channel and the newspaper, then called the New Age and later rebranded as the Afro Voice, from the Guptas in 2017. The Afro Voice was shut down earlier this year. ANN7 and the New Age was criticised for its involvement in the state capture and for being a platform for the African National Congress to push their political agendas.
Manyi expressed that Afro Worldview should be dissociated from its ties with channel’s previous owners. He says that it cannot be held accountable for faults with ANN7.
Kate Skinner, executive director of the South African National Editors’ Forum, said that the decrease in media coverage will present challenges leading up to the national elections next year. They have said that it will be difficult to ensure that the diverse views are aired.
MultiChoice is yet to announce the future of the channel.