(Source: Southgate ARC)
The South African Radio League report Sentech will close its Bloemendal Shortwave Broadcasting station on 30 March, which means that today’s Amateur Radio Today will be the last programme to be transmitted on the 7 and 17 MHz broadcast bands.
Amateur Radio Today will however still be available on 7 082 kHz from Durban and on many repeaters around South Africa and from the SARL home page on www.sarl.org.za.
Sentech inherited South Africa’s Bloemendal shortwave radio station near Meyerton when Radio RSA was closed down. Radio RSA started its broadcast on 1 May 1966 and by 1976 the station transmitted for 36 hours a week in twelve languages including English, French, Portuguese, and Afrikaans. The service was discontinued in 1992. The only transmission that survived the close down was a broadcast into Africa, renamed Channel Africa. The SABC also transmits Radio Sonder Grense (RSG) on shortwave to the Northern Cape. Sentech also took over the sponsorship of Amateur Radio Today.
To increase coverage on HF in the Southern African area the SARL is looking at transmitting the programme on 7 MHz from more locations like the Western Cape, Free State and Gauteng to compliment the 7082 kHz transmission by Louis, ZS5LP from Durban. The frequencies being considered are in the band between 7 100 and 7 200 kHz. On Monday evenings 80 metres is also under consideration.
Radio Amateurs willing to offer their services on Sundays at 10:00 CAT and/or on Monday evenings on 80 metres are invited to send their contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SARL could not make this announcement earlier as Sentech was unable to confirm their planned close down and requested the SARL not to announce the closure earlier.