A guide to South Africa’s commercial radio stations, which includes what each offers, what frequency to tune into and where the broadcasting areas are.South Africa’s commercial radio stations include Metro FM, Jacaranda FM and Kaya FM. (Image: Jacaranda FM, Facebook)Brand South Africa reporterUnder apartheid, South Africa had only two independent radio stations. With the deregulation of broadcasting in the late 1990s, the number of commercial stations operating outside of state control proliferated.In 1996 six lucrative SABC stations were privatised: Gauteng’s 947 and Radio Jacaranda, KwaZulu-Natal’s East Coast Radio, the Western Cape’s KFM 94.5, the Eastern Cape’s Radio Algoa and the Free State’s OFM. The government raised over R500-million as the stations were licensed to various black-controlled groups.In early 1997 eight new commercial radio licences were granted for broadcasting in South Africa’s three biggest cities – Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.Applicants targeting black audiences with new formats were generally favoured, with two “smooth jazz” licences, Heart 104.9 in Cape Town and Igagasi 99.5 in Durban; one urban youth station, YFM; and one urban contemporary station, Kaya FM. The remaining four licences went to an English-language talk station, CapeTalk 567; two Afrikaans talk stations, Punt in Cape Town and Durban; and a classical music station, Classic FM.Metro FMBroadcast in English, Metro FM is the largest national commercial station in South Africa, targeting 25- to 34-year-old black urban adults – who its owner the SABC describes as “trendy, innovative, progressive and aspirational”. While the station does have some information and educational aspects, the focus is firmly on contemporary international music – hip-hop, R&B, kwaito and more.Frequency: 96.4 FMMetro FM websiteBroadcast area: Metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 5.26-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioJacaranda FMOne of the largest independent commercial stations and also broadcasting in Gauteng, Jacaranda offers a mix of more easy-listening adult contemporary music and news.Frequency: 94.2 FMJacaranda FM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 2.32-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioEast Coast RadioEast Coast broadcasts a mix of music and news to Durban and throughout KwaZulu-Natal.Frequency: 94 to 95 FMEast Coast radio websiteBroadcast area: KwaZulu-NatalAudience (past seven days): 2.06-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioYfmHome of Kwaito and the “Y Generation”, Y is the country’s most popular youth station. Yfm has a self-imposed 50% local music quota – more than any other radio station in the country. It works in partnership with New York-based Masters At Work, who have released SA artists into the US and Europe as part of YFM’s ongoing commitment to South African music and culture.Frequency: 99.2 FMYFM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 1.34-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audio5FMThe SABC’s trendy youth-oriented station, 5FM’s emphasis is on the latest music, movies and South African youth trends. Broadcasting in English to South Africa’s metropolitan areas, its music styles are international, and include a strong component of South African artists of world standard.Frequency: see the 5FM frequency finder5FM websiteBroadcast area: Metropolitan areas of Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 1.32-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audio947 (previously known as 94.7 Highveld Stereo)Popular home of Anele’s Breakfast Club, 947 broadcasts a mix of contemporary music that connects with Joburg. It is owned by Primedia Broadcasting.Frequency: 94.7 FM947 websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 1.18-millionLanguage: EnglishOwned by: PrimediaKaya FMKaya FM provides an African-focused adult contemporary and jazz format, with a mix of music and talk. One of the country’s newest radio stations, Kaya broadcasts throughout Gauteng.Frequency: 95.9 FMKaya FM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 932 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioGood Hope FMCape Town’s largest radio station, the SABC’s Good Hope FM plays contemporary music ranging from R&B, ballads and pop through to hip hop, dance, jazz and old school. With a broadcast footprint covering metropolitan Cape Town, Langebaan, Malmesbury, Wellington, Paarl, Franchhoek, Stellenbosch and Gordon’s Bay, it targets the 22- to 32-year-old age group.Frequency: 93.9 to 96.7 FMGood Hope FM websiteBroadcast area: Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 620 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioAlgoa FMAlgoa FM’s music and news is broadcast to the entire Eastern Cape region.Frequency: 94 to 96.7 FMAlgoa FM websiteBroadcast area: Eastern CapeAudience (past seven days): 448 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audio702702 is Gauteng’s number-one current affairs and information station, offering news, sport, business and actuality programming – and lots of phone-in debate. Established in 1980, it was initially a youth music station, moving to the more adult talk format in 1988. During the apartheid era it was one of the only independent sources of broadcast news. The station is owned by Primedia.Frequency: 92.7 FM702 websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 281 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioCapeTalk 567Broadcasting on Medium Wave 567, CapeTalk is Cape Town’s first talk radio station. CapeTalk promises to bring you all the news, views, sport, weather, traffic and information you need. It is owned by Primedia.Frequency: 567 AM (MW)CapeTalk 567 websiteBroadcast area: Western CapeAudience (past seven days): 82 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioClassic FMBased on the UK station, Classic FM has been broadcasting classical music throughout Gauteng since September 1997. Through their partnership with Business Day, the station offers in-depth business coverage each week night from 6pm. There are also lifestyle features, news, financial updates, sport, and interviews with local artists and composers.Frequency: 102.7 FMClassic FM websiteBroadcast area: GautengAudience (past seven days): 151 000Language: EnglishOffers live internet audioKfm 94.5With the tagline “The most music. Feel Great”, Kfm 94.5 broadcasts adult contemporary music in the Western Cape and as far afield as Alexander Bay and the Northern Cape. It is owned by Primedia.Frequency: 94.5 FMKfm 94.5 websiteBroadcast area: Western Cape, Northern CapeAudience (past seven days): 1.29-millionLanguage: EnglishOffers live internet audioOFMThe commercial regional station of the Free State (a province with the name Orange Free State before 1994, hence the O), OFM broadcasts adult contemporary music.Frequency: 94 to 97 FMOFM websiteBroadcast area: Free StateAudience (past seven days): 436 000Language: English and AfrikaansOffers live internet audioRadio 2000To the listener, Radio 2000 is a laid back and non-intrusive radio station. Radio 2000, being a facility station, relies heavily on sports broadcasts. The result is that its listenership fluctuates, since it is often based on national and international sports events.Frequency: 97.2 to 100.2 FMRadio 2000 websiteBroadcast area: All provinces, except the Northern CapeAudience (past seven days): 151 000Language: EnglishChannel AfricaThe international radio service of the SABC offers a multilingual source of information on Africa – with news, music and sports. Broadcasts are in Chinyanja, Silozi, Kiswahili, English, French and Portuguese, with shortwave broadcasts covering south, east, central and west Africa, satellite broadcasts covering the sub-Saharan region – and internet broadcasts covering the entire world.Frequency: see the Channel Africa frequency guideChannel Africa websiteBroadcast area: south, east, central and west Africa (shortwave)Language: English, Chinyanja, Silozi, Kiswahili, French and PortugueseOffers live internet audioUseful linksAnt RadioBroadcasting Complaints Commission of South AfricaDepartment of CommunicationsFreedom of Expression InstituteInstitute for the Advancement of JournalismWits JournalismMedia Development and Diversity AgencyMedia Institute of Southern AfricaNational Association of BroadcastersNational Community Radio ForumPrimediaSouth African Audience Research FoundationSouth African Broadcasting CorporationSouth African National Editors ForumWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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