The Need is a South African soap opera, with dialogue mostly in English. The series premiered on SABC 3 in July 1998 and is broadcast evenings on SABC 3 from Monday to Friday at 19:00. It now uses the title Isidingo, having dropped “The Need” in 2001.
Created by Gray Hofmeyr, the story is loosely based on another popular soap opera created by Hofmeyr, The Villagers, that was broadcast during the apartheid era in South Africa.The main characters include the Haines family, the Matabanes, Vusi Moletsane the mine manager and the various residents of the boarding house owned by Maggie Webster. Barker Haines, owner of ON TV, is a high-living billionaire who often schemes his way into the lives of various people in and out of the mining town Horizon Deep, notably his daughter Leone. The Matabanes are a close-knit family who comprise a stronghold, of sorts, in the populace of Horizon Deep, with Zebedee as the patriarch. Other central characters are Lolly De Klerk, Frank Xavier, Parsons Matibane, Georgie Zamdela and Calvin Xavier.