Pretoria — The Department of Communications on Monday joins the world in celebrating World Radio Day.
This will be the sixth edition of World Radio Day, proclaimed by UNESCO to observe the important role that radio has played in human advancement and its unrivalled ability to touch the lives of people from all walks of life.
The theme for the 2017 edition of World Radio Day is 'Radio is You!'. It is a call for greater participation of audiences and communities in the policy and planning of radio broadcasting.
As the word celebrate World Radio Day, the Department of Communications has been in the forefront of ensuring that this low-cost medium becomes even more accessible and relevant to everyone in the country.
In the past financial year the department, through its entity the Media Diversity Development Agency (MDDA), has allocated funding and equipment to contribute towards setting up community radio stations.
"The significant transformation that South Africa has witnessed in the broadcasting sector over the past 20 years is most visible in the community radio sector, which has benefitted immensely from the liberalisation of the air waves.
"As a result, community broadcasting is today a significant competitor to public and commercial broadcasting, reflecting South Africa's rich cultural, religious and language diversity across a range of geographies; from rural to urban and the peri-urban areas.
"As the Department of Communications we will continue to support radio through advocating and passing policies that advance inclusivity, diversity of voices and facilitate the promotion of access to information," the department said in a statement.
Today, South Africa boasts more than 200 community radio stations, close to 20 commercial stations and 18 public radio stations - all dedicated towards informing, educating and entertaining their listeners.