Explains the history of SABC radio and new developments since the end of Apartheid

Essay by TjopUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2006

download word file, 3 pages 0.0


This essay aims to discuss the current structure of SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) Radio. This will be achieved by giving an overview of the history of SABC Radio pre-democracy, and then stating the developments which have been made in terms of structure post-democracy. The essay will end off with a brief overview of the SABC's radio stations.


In December 1923, South African Railways made South Africa's first wireless broadcast, paving the way for SA's first radio station. 'JB Calling' was launched in Johannesburg, and its inception led to the development of two similar radio stations in Cape Town('Cape Town Calling' ) and Durban('Durban and Pietermaritzburg Calling') (Frans Erasmus, 2004).

Financial problems led to the formation of the African Broadcasting Company, or ABC in 1927, but the problems continued, and Prime Minister Hertzog ordered an official investigation into all aspects of South African broadcasting.

Two years later, the SABC was formed in accordance with Act 22 of 1936(Frans Erasmus, 2004) (Jitske Draisma, 2006).

Due to a stipulation in the Act, the 'A & B Programmes' were introduced in 1937 to broadcast parallel Afrikaans and English.

The first African language transmissions were made in 1940 via telephone lines and relayed to SA townships in the Zulu, Xhosa and Sesotho languages. This service was brief, but in 1942 short daily African language broadcasts were heard on medium wave frequencies of the A & B Programmes when they were not being used (Frans Erasmus, 2004).

The first commercial radio station in SA, Springbok Radio, was introduced in 1952.

A re-diffusion service was introduced in 1952 to transmit African language broadcasts, leading to the formation of several African language stations between 1960 and 1965.

Radio RSA, an external service of the SABC, started...