From the ashes of what was once Channel Med, the predecessor to SMU FM, rose the current radio station, which is gradually making its mark as a promising player in the airwaves space, entertaining with a purpose to educate and inform listeners about health issues.
Launched in April 2015, SMU FM, is a unit of the Marketing and Communication Department (MCD) of the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). Broadcasting on 97.1 FM, the SMU FM’s broadcast licence was issued by the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA), in 2009.
As a predominantly health sciences university, it was fitting and proper to locate the SMU FM in the MCD and to make it one of the communication platforms of the university. The SMU took a giant leap to establish the board of the radio station to ensure that the governance structure, was in place.
The board’s hard wake soon bore fruit and subsequently the SMU FM went on air on April 2015, on the same day as its parent organisation, the SMU, was launched. The SMU FM’s first live broadcast was the official launch of the university. The biggest launch ever, in the history of higher education, attracted over 10 000 people.
President Jacob Zuma of the Republic of South Africa graced the occasion and delivered a keynote address and also unveiled the memorial statue of Sefako Mapogo Makgatho, at the main gate. The university was named after the late Mr Sefako Mapogo Makgatho, a teacher, journalist and ANC former President.
The mandate of the station is to entertain listeners with a purpose to educate and inform them about health issues. In that way, it is expected to help to prevent onset of diseases, contribute towards cross cultural discourse and deepening democracy in South Africa. SMU FM is a dual language station broadcasting in Setswana and English with a 40/60 music and news content split.
The SMU FM broadcast has a wide coverage area spanning 50 kms from SMU in Ga-Rankuwa to the North, East, West and South (NEWS) of Tshwane and its outlying areas such as Ga-Rankuwa, Akasia, Pretoria North, Orchards, Rosslyn, Mmakau, Brits, Letlhabile, Jericho, Mothutlung, Soshanguve, Mabopane, Hammanskraal, and Themba etc.