Why is Radio Veritas limited to Gauteng?
Question: Why is Radio Veritas, as South Africa’s only Catholic radio station, broadcasting only in Johannesburg and not nationally?
Answer by Günther Simmermacher: It is fair to ask why Radio Veritas broadcasts only in Johannesburg, as it does on the 576 AM frequency. But it is a problem not of Radio Veritas’ making.
Before Radio Veritas went on air permanently, its late founder, Fr Emil Blaser OP, tried for many years to obtain a licence to broadcast nationally, but the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) refused to license the station on grounds that it was not serving a geographically-defined community.
Veritas argued that it served a community-of-interest (namely the Catholic community) which is distributed throughout the country, but ICASA rejected that reasoning.
Only when Radio Veritas applied as a community station for Johannesburg — as South Africa’s most populous diocese — did ICASA issue a medium-wave frequency, on grounds that the station would serve a specific geographical community.
Thankfully, Catholics throughout South Africa (and the world) with the means to do so can tune in on livestreams (radioveritas.co.za) or on DStv audio channel 870.
Asked and answered in the July 2021 issue of The Southern Cross magazine
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