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Communications Minister Faith Muthambi commends Radio Pulpit 657AM on leading SA Radio Industry into digital era via DRM

South African communications minister, Faith Muthambi, emphasized the importance of community media during an official visit to Radio Pulpit 657AM (2015 MTN Community Station of the Year). She congratulated the Station and the Pulpit Media Group (PMG) on receiving this prestigious award and indicated that part of her visit was directly linked to Radio Pulpit's ground breaking evolvement in a digital era.

During Muthambi's visit she emphasised the fact that community media is central to government's communication approach and expanded on the fact that radio will have to evolve to find its place in the digital broadband environment.

"I have always wanted to visit this Station because it has been so innovative to consider going digitally using DRM. Let me start by congratulating Radio Pulpit in making history with the first live DRM test broadcast. I think it is something that you deserve a pat on the back for. It is something you need to brag about. You are a leader in this space."

Muthambi stated that government will look at digital audio broadcasting options - DRM and DAB favourably for simultaneous licensing for services. "Brazil and India, our trading partners from BRICS, have been looking at DRM favourably for their community broadcasting sectors, but what is important to me as a minister is the best interest of the poor people of this country. Manufacturers must also design and build DRM receivers for the South African SADC region. I will not support the importation of these receivers from any other country outside of our SADC region. We must also avoid the situation where our broadcasters are going to be charged licence fees. Our region is very attractive and big enough for any player that would want to partner with our local manufacturers and share their skills and resources for the development of our region."

According to Muthambi, the SA government is serious about digital migration and has been working around the clock to assure that the issue of spectrum interference is dealt with. "As a country we are ready with Sentech and the SABC is on board. Digital migration is also to revive the local electronic manufacturers. We need to contribute towards growing our economy. So I can assure you that we are on track, and I am also excited that Radio Pulpit is a step ahead in moving our country forward. "

In closing, Muthambi encouraged Radio Pulpit to continue building the moral fibre of society. "Keep up the good work, because I know daily, with all your platforms, you are changing the lives of South Africans and in so doing it means you are moving our country forward," she said.

Photo1

Communications minister, Faith Muthambi and Dr Roelf Petersen, Group MD of the Pulpit Media Group, with delegates of the Department of Communications, Radio Pulpit and PMG

Photo2

Minister Muthambi and Lucky Mbiko behind the microphones at Radio Pulpit - having a conversation about digital migration and Radio Pulpit making history by leading the SA radio broadcasting industry into the digital era with the first LIVE digital medium wave broadcast in South Africa

Photo3

Muthambi gathers more information at Radio Pulpit's digital transmitter site in Kameeldrift, Pretoria from where the Station is transmitting from its DRM ready 25kW transmitter

Photo4

Just like many young children still do, Muthambi grew up, listening to Radio Pulpit

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Employees from Radio Pulpit were enthusiastic to welcome the Minister at the Station

 
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