South Africa: Sentech Shuts Down Meyerton Shortwave Site
The South African public broadcast signal distributor, Sentech, closed down its shortwave station in Meyerton at the end of March.
The shutdown was planned and was due to years of financial losses.
Meyerton was built by the state ten years ago and operated it as a brokered station for international and South African clientele.
As a result of the cancellation, Channel Africa, the international service to Africa, is no longer on shortwave. The station’s General Manager, Solly Phethoe, said that all efforts made by BCC World Service to discourage Sentech from switching off made no difference.
Radio Sonder Grense a local service broadcasting in Afrikaans also closed down because it relied on shortwave to reach remote areas of South Africa’s Northern Cape province.
Sentech’s shortwave facility initially had annual revenues of approximately US$2 million. The amount gradually dwindled down to less than half of what it was a decade ago.
The signal distributor attributed the poor performance of its shortwave business to satellite broadcasting and the internet.
After dealing with high maintenance costs and seeing analogue shortwave as outdated and obsolete technology, Sentech decided to change course in 2017.
It approved a plan to close down the site as well as a transition to Digital Radio Mondiale. Alternative funding methods were discussed at a conference that was held in May 2018, but ultimately Sentech decided that shutting down the station would be the best option.
Credit: This article originated from www.radioworld.com