Press release

Online TV aims to empower communities

A profound sense of kinship led Capetonians Brad Schaffer and Marcos Cruz to develop a community-generated online television medium that "enables communication and strengthens community".

To prove this point an incredible 60 000 views within two weeks illustrates the success of the partnership with provincial government for its Crash Witness Campaign, introduced to promote safe driving.

Tracy McGregor is another testament to a winning association. She has created a loyal following that continues to visit her Lifestyle co-op on a regular basis.

The self-funded co-opTV.com project, launched in February 2012, also gives viewers the chance to see comedian Siv Ngesi and hip-hop artist Ben Sharpa in action. Art lovers too have the opportunity to view the works of Cape Town’s top craftsmen, including Justin Fiske and Ford Hallam, among others.

"When we speak about community we are referring to interests that link people – not necessarily a neighbourhood," explains Brad.

With its focus on variety, co-opTV.com gives freestyle footballers a look at Cape Town sportsman, Khris Njokwana, as he makes his way around the world creating awareness for the activity.

Apart from archived viewing, co-opTV.com offers live streaming too. Those unable to attend the Sustain our Africa summit, hosted in Cape Town on October 24 and 25, 2012, were able to follow the debates and speakers. Marc Buhrer, living as a homeless person to raise awareness for less-fortunate Capetonians, was also live streamed.

Brad and Marcos followed the writings of American civic-intelligence philosopher Doug Schuler who believed the strength of a community was in civic intelligence. "Taking this philosophy to its ultimate level, communities have the ability to become strong enough to advise regulatory bodies,” adds Brad who believes communities should play a more responsible role for their own wellbeing and that like-minded communities, linking up and working towards common objectives, lead to empowerment.

co-opTV.com hosts programmes for a variety of interest groups. "So wherever you live, whoever you are co-opTV.com offers a community channel suited to your interests," concludes Marcos. “Send us your content and help strengthen your interest community."

You can also find co-opTV.com on MXit