| 19 Jun 2024
South Africa Government wants to promote local manufacture of digital radio sets

NEW DELHI: Emphasising the importance of community media, South African Communications minister Faith Muthambi has said “Brazil and India, our trading partners from BRICS, have been looking at DRM favourably for their community broadcasting sectors.”

But the Minister added, “Manufacturers must also design and build DRM receivers for the South African SADC region. I will not support the importation of these receivers from any other country outside of our SADC region. We must also avoid the situation where our broadcasters are going to be charged licence fees. Our region is very attractive and big enough for any player that would want to partner with our local manufacturers and share their skills and resources for the development of our region.”

The Minister was speaking during an official visit to Radio Pulpit 657AM (2015 MTN Community Station of the Year). She congratulated the Station and the Pulpit Media Group (PMG) on receiving the prestigious award and indicated that part of her visit was directly linked to Radio Pulpit’s ground breaking evolvement in a digital era.

She emphasised the fact that community media is central to the government’s approach to communication and expanded on the fact that radio will have to evolve to find its place in the digital broadband environment.

Muthambi stated that the government will look at digital audio broadcasting options – DRM and DAB favourably for simultaneous licensing for services.

According to Muthambi, the South African government is serious about digital migration and has been working around the clock to assure that the issue of spectrum interference is dealt with. “As a country we are ready with Sentech and the SABC is on board. Digital migration is also to revive the local electronic manufacturers. We need to contribute towards growing our economy. So I can assure you that we are on track, and I am also excited that Radio Pulpit is a step ahead in moving our country forward.”

While referring to Radio Pulpit receiving the PANSALB award as Radio of the Decade for Multilingualism and Nation Building in 2008, the Minister stated that with community radio, people are able to access it in their own language.