South Africa’s Parliament TV channel, which is aired on MultiChoice’s DStv, went off the air during the fire that devastated the National Assembly and other areas of the country’s parliament complex in Cape Town.
Parliament TV, which airs on MultiChoice’s DStv channel 408, first halted programming after the fire broke out on Sunday 2 January 2022, then added a “programming interrupted” blue screen notification.
MultiChoice afterwards turned off the Parliament TV channel stream, showing a “channel closed” notification and removing the electronic programme guide (EPG) content.
Parliament TV has been rebroadcasting several sessions and meetings of different portfolio committees from 2021 since the parliament of South Africa is in recess and therefore is not showing any live content.
Areas of parliament’s National Assembly and other parts of the building were destroyed by fire. The channel’s feed with Parliament TV was terminated by MultiChoice, which is now replaced by the EPG simply showing an “Important Message,” saying: “We are currently experiencing technical difficulties. Regular programming will resume as soon as possible.”
Apart from DStv, Parliament TV is also available on YouTube, where the channel still streamed Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s funeral service on Saturday. In addition, Parliament TV uploaded a short message from Patricia De Lille, the minister of public works, informing the media about the fire at parliament on Sunday.
In response to a media query, MultiChoice told BMA Sources that “Parliament TV ceased broadcasting owing to the fire at the parliament building, as programming is delivered from the parliament’s premises. MultiChoice changed the channel’s status to ‘Not Running,’ and the electronic program guide (EPG) was updated to reflect technical issues.”