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 that was mostly pro-government, and the message of its broadcasts reflected those views. Following the fall of the apartheid government, the service was renamed Channel Africa.


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]


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.


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.[7]


  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
  7. ^ South Africa Yearbook, South African Communication Service, 1995, page 292