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November 23, 2017
South Africans celebrate launch of Catholic radio station
South Africans celebrate launch of Catholic radio station
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.- The Catholic community in South Africa is celebrating the news that after 11 years, Catholic station Radio Veritas has been granted a license to air.

“The news of being granted this license has filled us with an indescribable joy and messages of congratulations have not stopped streaming in,” said Father Emil Blaser, a Dominican priest who has spearheaded the effort since 2000. 

“We have waited so long and tried every means possible to get on air,” he added.

Fr. Blaser said that over the last 11 years, the station has engaged in public hearings, conducted market research, streamed online, and knocked “on government and international doors” in an effort to be granted a frequency for broadcasting.

Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg thanked the country's communications regulator –  the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa – for finalizing the requests for the license.

“At last,” Archbishop Tlhagale said, “Radio Veritas will be broadcasting in the greater Johannesburg Metropolitan area – our Archdiocese.”

Radio Veritas will air on a 576kHz medium wave frequency, previously known as Metro FM. The official launch will be announced as soon as the technical aspects have been worked out, station representatives announced on Sept. 13.

Other Catholic radio stations have launched in Africa throughout the last year, including one in Uganda that is helping rescue children who have been abducted and forced into being child soldiers by rebel armies.

In November of 2010, Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need helped support the broadcast of diocesan radio station “Radio Wa,” or “Our Radio,” in Lira, northern Uganda.

The aid organization said that although the station has a range of just 120 miles, close to 1,500 child soldiers have been able to flee the rebel army.