The battle of the soapies: Who’s watching what?

Nelisiwe Sibiya stars in ‘Durban Gen’ as Dr Mbali Mthethwa.Picture: Supplied

How do SA’s top soapies compare?

Less than two months since its launch on 5 October,’s Durban Gen has reached the two million viewers milestone.

Durban Gen follows the life of the main protagonist Mbali Mthethwa, a newly qualified doctor who moves to the big city, away from her fiancé and the small town they grew up in, to serve her final year of community service at Durban General Hospital. However, she finds herself torn between two men. Her fiancé Sibusiso Dlamini, the one she has promised herself to, and her superior, Dr Lindelani Zulu, a brilliant, attractive surgeon with whom she has undeniable chemistry.

“Our increase in viewership speaks to a powerful combination of credible narrations, exceptional talent, and continuous marketing efforts,” says Helga Palmer, head of local productions at

Some Durban Gen fans on Twitter described the soapie as their weekly ‘6:30pm slot booked’, whilst others simply said it was their favourite.

Some fans said they wished the soapie would air for longer than a half hour.

Durban Gen airs on, DStv channel 194, and Openview channel 104 weeknights at 6:30PM.

As South Africans were spending more time more at home due to the Covid-19 lockdown, local soapies seemed to be attracting more viewers as ratings continue to escalate.

Durban Gen is ranked among some of the most watched TV shows after reaching its two million viewers milestone.

For the month of October, Top Shows on TV  reported that Uzalo has remained the most watched South African soapie for close to three years with over eight million viewers. The SABC 1 soap opera is a provocative, bold and authentic narrative that tells the story of two family dynasties, the Mdletshes and the Xulus, and the two young men who carry their hopes and legacies. Uzalo airs weekdays at 8:30pm.

DStv’s Gomora is the most watched show on Mzansi Magic with a over 1.8 million viewers. Gomora is a story about inequality. It’s about the rich and the poor and how fine the line between the two can be. It follows the lives of two families and how their worlds collide. The telenovela airs on DStv 161 at 7:30pm weekdays.

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