The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) says 2019’s celebration of World Radio Day, underscores the medium’s ability to encourage understanding and foster new perspectives.

The history of radio in South Africa can be traced back to 1923, when the first wireless broadcast was made in Johannesburg.

The SABC boasts 19 radio stations, which offer programming in all 11 officials languages and the !Xun and Khwe languages mainly spoken in the Northern Cape.

Wednesday’s World Radio Day was marked with the theme “Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace”.

According to a UN statement radio still reaches the widest audience in the world and it is also recognised as a powerful communication tool and a low-cost medium.

Radio is specifically suited to reach remote communities and vulnerable people: the illiterate, the disabled, women, youth and the poor, while offering a platform to intervene in the public debate, irrespective of people’s educational level.

Furthermore, radio has a strong and specific role in emergency communication and disaster relief.

The South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) released a statement to commemorate  the celebration.

“Throughout the years, the SABC’s radio portfolio has contributed to strengthening our country’s democracy by providing content in all the official South African languages and enabling listeners to engage with programming that provides them with access to information that is continually changing their lives,” reads the public broadcaster’s statement in part.

SABC Radio remains committed to provide meaningful and developmental content through a mix of programming genres including music, drama, documentaries, magazine and variety shows. Currently, SABC radio stations boasts a combined market share of 72.1%.”

Please read the full SABC statement below: