New rock-dedicated radio station launches in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs Rolling Stone met up with Afrikaans Alternative FM’s station manager Hein du Plooy to chat about the promotion of local music, open minded individuals and South Africa’s reluctant radio stations. Congratulations on your station’s first week of live airplay! We heard through the grapevine that Afrikaans
New rock-dedicated radio station launches in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs
Rolling Stone met up with Afrikaans Alternative FM’s station manager Hein du Plooy to chat about the promotion of local music, open minded individuals and South Africa’s reluctant radio stations.
Congratulations on your station’s first week of live airplay! We heard through the grapevine that Afrikaans Alternative is a new division of Brackenfell/Bellville’s Bok Radio. What makes Afrikaans Alternative FM different from any other commercial radio station in South Africa?
AAFM approached Bok Radio for advice to start the station and for help for the 48bandoff competition we’ve just launched. Bok Radio agreed to help through their expertise in broadcasting and assisted in the training of our presenters and setting up of the basic infrastructure for the station. AAFM is not affiliated to Bok Radio and functions totally as an independent station.
We also heard through the grapevine that you play 90% rock and 50% of that is Afrikaans rock and the rest is English, is this true? What’s the reason for this decision?
We believe the rock and Afrikaans alternative movements go hand in hand and there’s no real platform for local talent to be showcased apart from some campus radio stations. We play 60% English solid rock music and 40% Afrikaans Alternative music. We average 80% South African music so we believe we can play an important role in promoting local music.
What is your response to the heated debate that Rolling Stone’s Anton Marshall sparked off in his article An Open Challenge to South African Radio Broadcasters?
We totally agree with his sentiments.
What’s Afrikaans Alternative FM’s target market?
Open minded individuals who feel their listening needs are not met on other stations.
You guys obviously have to make money to sustain the station. Being a dedicated rock station that’s predominately Afrikaans, how do you justify your target market to potential advertisers?
We’re confident that enough people will support the station to make it financially sustainable in the long run. The whole point is the fact that no other station caters to the needs of a growing wave of South Africans who realise the need for a strong South African Music scene. Radio Stations in South Africa are reluctant to support local music where countries abroad are the exact opposite.
What is AA FM’s terrestrial FM range and are you looking to expand that range?
We’re on 91.3FM for now and will be looking for something more permanent than an event’s license in the near future, for now we’re quite happy with what we have. We cover the greater Western Cape area and that’s fine for now.