THE National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc), the black business support group, has purchased a 20% stake in Mobile TV, a black-owned consortium that hopes to introduce mobile television services in South Africa in the near future.

"This investment is likely to have a major impact on ownership, control and management demographics in South Africa," said Mothobi Mutloatse, founder and chairman of Mobile TV, on Monday.

"The Nafcoc investment is a major step, as it represents the first time that an organised black business grouping has invested in cutting-edge technology in the media sector," he added.

Lawrence Mavundla, chairman of the newly created investment arm of Nafcoc, said: "The new technology that Mobile TV brings into the broadcast sector will deal with the issue of lack of access to information and entertainment in the rural and deep rural areas."

"If one considers the investment required to purchase a set-top box to decode encrypted television signals, it makes complete sense to circumvent the cost and go directly to the mobile technology that is available," Mr Mavundla said.

"The business opportunities are endless and the investment decision wasn't a hard one to make," he said.

Mr Mavundla will sit on the board of Mobile TV as a result of the stake that Nafcoc has taken up.

Mr Mutloatse said the company would use South Korean digital multimedia broadcasting technology that was ahead of anything available in South Africa, specifically in terms of its interactive services.

After 15 months of testing and a temporary licence to refine the technology, he said, Mobile TV was ready for the next steps, which included raising capital and applying for a permanent broadcast licence.