It’s a funny thing. I don’t know what it is about Cape Town, but politics seem very far away — even the big politics. In Joburg I’d bang my head on the door at every bad ripple in the political landscape, but somehow, in someway, it doesn’t get to you as much down south in the fishing village. I need to analyse this some more to work out what exactly is going on here. Maybe it’s just me.
They say you can tell quite a bit about a place by listening to the people who call in on talk radio shows. So it’s been interesting to note the differences between the two sister news and talk radio stations, Cape Town’s Cape Talk 567 vs Johannesburg’s Radio 702.
The country was rocked this weekend by the sudden resignation of its president, so on my way to work I switched on Cape Talk 567 at about 8am, hungry for more news, reaction, insight and analysis — looking for the kind of hard-hitting, pacy stuff that I’m used to getting on 702. Well, I didn’t really find that:
- I turned on the radio to find a rather light, relaxed show featuring a call-in, where listeners were phoning in to describe how they felt about the news. It was short of the expert commentary and interviews with major players you would expect with what is the biggest political event in this country’s history since the fall of Apartheid. Not even a special broadcast or show this morning? Hell no!
- One caller changed the subject entirely, wanting to talk more about a recent airshow than the country’s sacked president. The presenter, Aden Thomas, obliged and himself went off on a short tangent about this particular airshow. Another then phoned in to tell us about his plane flight the other day. And another guy followed up with his contribution to the crisis, telling us about a poster which had been vandalised, saying Cape Town mayor Helen Zille should be the new president. Not too much then about the biggest political event in this country’s history since the fall of Apartheid?
- The presenter, Aden Thomas, seemed friendly and jovial enough — but in comparison to 702’s John Robbie, just lacked the serious, incisive punch that the morning news needs, especially when it comes to covering the biggest political event in this country’s history since the fall of Apartheid.
- In amongst the relaxed, jovial laughter, there was also mention by Thomas about how the presidential change was affecting Capetonians in particular, because that of course is the nub of the issue. Then a light-hearted “Joburg vs Capetown” comment with regards to the weather. On 702, it’s interesting how I rarely hear comparisons to Cape Town or mention of 702 as a Joburg station — stories and news always have a national feel.
It was a light salad, with no salad dressing. I was after a thick juicy fillet, that needed dissection and consumption. A reflection perhaps of two different cities? Or just a reflection of two different radio operations? Oh well, another day in Cape Town, back to the beautiful mountain scenery then.