Ra­dio hams plan big meet

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - NABEELAH SHAIKH

AMID the age of cell­phones and in­stant in­ter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tion across the globe, am­a­teur ra­dio en­thu­si­asts are still ac­tive around the world.

Dur­ban has an ac­tive com­mu­nity of 400 “ra­dio hams” and in Au­gust the South African Ra­dio League (SARL) will host 80 ra­dio am­a­teurs from 34 coun­tries in Europe, Africa and parts of the Mid­dle East for a week-long event.

“This an­nual event pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to learn about dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties and cul­tures, fos­ter in­ter­na­tional friend­ships and good­will as well as learn new ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion and tech­ni­cal skills,” said SARL pres­i­dent Nico van Rens­burg.

Re­spond­ing to last week’s story in the Sun­day Tri­bune about pri­vate am­bu­lance ser­vices and tow truck op­er­a­tors il­le­gally tap­ping into po­lice fre­quen­cies, SARL’S reg­u­la­tory af­fairs man­ager, Hans van de Groe­nen­daal, said there was a mis­con­cep­tion about ra­dio hams and what they do.

He said the story’s head­line “Ra­dio hams bust in sting,” gave the im­pres­sion that am­a­teur ra­dio en­thu­si­asts were in­volved in the il­le­gal mon­i­tor­ing of emer­gency ser­vices.

Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth, he said. He said SARL worked closely with safety and se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties to pro­vide emer­gency com­mu­ni­ca­tion fa­cil­i­ties when re­quired and as­sisted with spe­cialised com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices at sport­ing events such as the Com­rades Marathon.

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