21 years of tackling tough issues

2018-10-23 06:00
Kieno Kammies, Mike Mavovana (principal of Hector Pieterson Secondary School, where the Dropula was first piloted), and Stellenbosch University’s Professor Thinus Booysen.

Kieno Kammies, Mike Mavovana (principal of Hector Pieterson Secondary School, where the Dropula was first piloted), and Stellenbosch University’s Professor Thinus Booysen.

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CapeTalk, Cape Town’s only talk radio station on the AM frequency, celebrates its 21st birthday this month.

The station – considered a reliable, trustworthy and caring member of the family by its audience – has progressed greatly from the late ’90s start-up at the then Pepper Street studios. The station took to air with actor John Maytham behind the microphone on the morning of 14 October 1997.

The station has amassed a loyal terrestrial and online audience – 80 000 terrestrial and 223 600 on Twitter – and is known for providing credible and balanced news, while challenging those in power.

Some of the most iconic media personalities have called the CapeTalk studio home and continue to remember their time with the station as one of the highlights of their careers. Famous CapeTalk voices then and now include Kieno Kammies, Pippa Hudson, Martin Bailie, Mike Wills, Lisa Chait and Africa Melane.

The station has never shied away from talking about the tough issues but also celebrating the big moments in South African history. Some of the highlights include:

. 1997: Prostitution in Kenilworth

. 1998: Planet Hollywood bombing

. 2000: Monique and Kallie Strydom hostage drama in the Philippines

. 2001: 9/11 terror attacks

. 2003: Sizzlers massacre

. 2005: Baby Jordan-Leigh Norton murder

. 2010: Fifa 2010 World Cup

. 2013: Passing of Nelson Mandela


During the station’s 21st birthday month, the smart water meter campaign ends on air. The campaign perfectly demonstrates the power of regional radio.

CapeTalk partnered with the Shoprite Group and Stellenbosch University in 2017 and announced a smart water meter roll-out with 100 schools which aimed to save one million litres of water a day at schools across Cape Town.

Following the partnership announcement and subsequent unveiling of the smart water meter called Dropula, designed and built by Bridgiot, a start-up company affiliated with Stellenbosch University, an additional 240 schools have been added to the list.

The result?

. Over 340 schools have now had the Dropula device installed

. Over 200 million litres of water have been saved

. Estimated money saved: R20 000 000

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“CapeTalk is passionate about sharing information in a way that enables our audience to improve or simplify their lives. Listeners tune in to learn something, to keep up to date with news, to broaden their perspectives or because they want companionship. Twenty-one years ago, we asked residents of this City and beyond to join in the conversation with us – we look forward to the next 21 years,” says CapeTalk programme manager, Tessa van Staden.

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