These are the 10 biggest radio stations in South Africa

 ·12 May 2016

Public broadcaster the SABC says it will play 90% local music across its 18 radio stations from today, Thursday, May 12.

According to a recent article in the City Press, South Africa has 40 commercial/public radio stations, 256 community stations, making a total of 296 stations in the country. The paper noted that 38 additional stations were added in 2015.

City Press noted that Ukhozi FM is the biggest radio station in South Africa, attracting 7.5 million listeners per week on average.

The latest Radio Audience Measurement Survey (Rams) figures, as reported on by the City Press, showed that Ukhozi FM took first spot by several hundred thousand weekly listeners.

The SA Advertising Research Foundation estimates that local radio had 37.6 million listeners in 2015 – making it the most consumed form of media in the country.

The top radio stations in South Africa, based on weekly listenership, are:

  1. Ukhozi FM – 7.5 million
  2. Metro FM – 6.8 million
  3. Umhlobo Wenene FM – 4.6 million
  4. Lesedi FM – 4 million
  5. Motsweding FM – 3.1 million
  6. Thobela – 3 million
  7. Jacaranda FM – 2 million
  8. Kaya FM 95.9 – 1.8 million
  9. 5FM – 1.8 million
  10. RSG – 1.7 million

The bulk of these stations belong to the SABC which lists the following radio stations  among its properties:

  • 5FM
  • Radio 2000
  • RSG
  • SAFM
  • Lotus FM
  • Metro FM
  • Ukhozi FM
  • Good Hope FM
  • TruFM
  • Lesedi FM
  • Ligwala Gwala FM
  • Thobela FM

In March this year, Icasa announced that holders of public sound-broadcasting service licences must play at least 60% South African music. Meanwhile, commercial stations are required to play a minimum of 35% South African music, according to Icasa.

“Our respective radio stations will not be confined to playing local music which is language specific,” said SABC chief operations officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng in a news report on the broadcaster’s website.

“We want to come to a point where any of our 18 radio stations can become a home for all South Africans.

“This cross-pollination of music is very important for the public service broadcaster, because part of our mandate is to reflect the South African story and music is an important part in ensuring that the SABC achieves this mandate,” added Motsoeneng.

The SABC has further reported that music played on its stations will consist of all genres, with a special focus Kwaito, Jazz, Reggae and Gospel.

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