Radio RSA

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Radio RSA: The Voice of South Africa was the international broadcasting service of the Republic of South Africa. It was run by the South African Broadcasting Corporation from its inception on 1 May 1966 until its demise in 1992 following the end of the apartheid era. Radio RSA broadcast news and opinion programming, which was often propaganda aimed at defending the apartheid regime and demonizing its opponents, like the African National Congress.

Management[edit]

Radio RSA, as part of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, was originally part of the Department of Information, which was established after the 1948 National Party victory. The Department of Information’s task was to promote the image of South Africa internationally and reduce criticism of apartheid. After the Muldergate scandal of the late 1970s, the functions of the Department of Information were split. The Department of Foreign Affairs took over control of Radio RSA. [1] The annual budget was about 20 million rands.

In 1976, Radio RSA transmitted for 36 hours a week.[2] Radio RSA broadcast in 12 languages in 1976 [3] including English, French, Portuguese, and Afrikaans. In 1984, 11 languages were broadcast.[4]

Facilities[edit]

The studios of Radio RSA were initially located at Broadcast House, Commissioner Street in Johannesburg, relocating to Auckland Park in 1976. Additional facilities were located in Bloemendal near Meyerton, Gauteng.

Transmitters operated at 100, 250 and 500 kW power.

Identification[edit]

The station identification in English was “"This is Radio RSA, the Voice of South Africa, from Johannesburg", with similar announcements in other languages: "Ici R. RSA, la Voix de l'Afrique de Sud". [5][6]

In 1992, following the fall of apartheid and the election of an ANC government, the service was renamed Channel Africa.

Comparison[edit]

Estimated total direct programme hours per week of some external radio broadcasters for 1996
Broadcaster 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1996[2]
United States VOA, RFE/RL & Radio Martí 497 1,495 1,907 1,901 2,611 1,821
China China Radio International 66 687 1,267 1,350 1,515 1,620
United Kingdom BBC World Service 643 589 723 719 796 1,036
Russia Radio Moscow / Voice of Russia[1][3] 533 1,015 1,908 2,094 1,876 726
Germany Deutsche Welle 0 315 779 804 848 655
Egypt Radio Cairo (ERTU) 0 301 540 546 605 604
Iran IRIB World Service / Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran 12 24 155 175 400 575
India All India Radio 116 157 271 389 456 500
Japan NHK World Radio Japan 0 203 259 259 343 468
France Radio France Internationale 198 326 200 125 379 459
Netherlands Radio Netherlands Worldwide[1] 127 178 335 289 323 392
Israel Israel Radio International[1] 0 91 158 210 253 365
Turkey Voice of Turkey 40 77 88 199 322 364
North Korea Radio Pyongyang / Voice of Korea 0 159 330 597 534 364
Bulgaria Radio Bulgaria[1] 30 117 164 236 320 338
Australia Radio Australia 181 257 350 333 330 307
Albania Radio Tirana (RTSH) 26 63 487 560 451 303
Romania Radio Romania International 30 159 185 198 199 298
Spain Radio Exterior de España[5] 68 202 251 239 403 270
Portugal RDP Internacional[1] 46 133 295 214 203 226
Cuba Radio Havana Cuba 0 0 320 424 352 203
Italy Rai Italia Radio[1] 170 205 165 169 181 203
Canada Radio Canada International[1] 85 80 98 134 195 175
Poland Radio Polonia[1] 131 232 334 337 292 171
South Africa Radio RSA / Channel Africa 0 63 150 183 156 159
Sweden Sveriges Radio International[1] 28 114 140 155 167 149
Hungary Magyar Rádió[1] 76 120 105 127 102 144
Czech Republic Radio Prague[4] 119 196 202 255 131 131
Nigeria Voice of Nigeria 0 0 62 170 120 127
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Radio Belgrade / International Radio of Serbia 80 70 76 72 96 68

Source: International Broadcast Audience Research, June 1996

The list includes about a quarter of the world's external broadcasters whose output is both publicly funded and worldwide. Among those excluded are Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea and various international commercial and religious stations.

Notes:

  1. Does not broadcast on shortwave as of 2014.
  2. 1996 figures as at June; all other years as at December.
  3. Before 1991, broadcasting for the former USSR.
  4. Before 1996, broadcasting for the former Czechoslovakia.
  5. REE ceased all shortwave broadcasts in October 2014 but announced in December that it would resume shortwave transmission in Spanish only for four hours a day in order to accommodate Spanish fishing trawlers who were otherwise unable to receive REE at sea.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horwitz, Robert Britt. Communication and Democratic Reform in South Africa. 2001, page 287
  2. ^ Sandra Van der Merwe., The Environment of South African Business. 1976, Maskew Miller. ISBN 0-623-00948-X, page 35
  3. ^ Michael O'Mara. Facts About the World's Nations. 1999, H.W. Wilson. ISBN 0-8242-0955-9, p. 863
  4. ^ Roberts, Steven. International Directory of Telecommunications: Market Trends, Companies. 1984, Longman. ISBN 0-582-90021-2. p 17
  5. ^ Johansen, Oluf Lund. World Radio and TV Handbook: 1978 edition, page 146
  6. ^ World Radio TV Handbook, 1992 edition, p. 168