On Tuesday, 13 February, governments and legislatures across the world, including Mr Boyce Maneli – the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies – commemorated the 11th World Radio Day since the day was so proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2012.  

The theme for World Radio Day 2024 is, “Radio: A Century Informing, Entertaining, and Educating.” The theme reflects that from the beginning of the 20th century, communities across the world have been kept informed, entertained and educated by radio, a medium that is widely purported to facilitate a “theatre of the mind”, in which the radio audience uses the sound coming from the radio speakers to create imaginary scenes.

Mr Maneli said that he hopes radio will continue in the next century to inform, educate and entertain communities across the world through all the traditional broadcasting and digital platforms available.     

“Here in South Africa, radio plays a pivotal role in shaping the country’s democratic project by disseminating information about voter education, government programmes and parliamentary public participation in legislation-making processes, among other things,” Mr Maneli noted. The government is therefore committed to support the financing of community radio stations through the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).

The MDDA supports community radio stations with infrastructure development and upgrades, and its budget is appropriated by Parliament through Budget Vote 4 of the Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS). The GCIS, in its turn, accounts to Parliament through the Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies.

Justice Molafo
14 February 2024