What an inspiration this man is! Loving something, and loving it too much to keep it for himself, but gives his all to make it available to you. That is exactly what Frans Erasmus, head of the Springbok Radio Preservation Society, does with his time and money. He makes Springbok Radio of old available to all through Springbok Radio Digital, an internet radio station re-broadcasting old Springbok Radio programs as well as recreating the feel of Springbok Radio with new music programs with music from the era of Springbok Radio.
On 21 May I had the privilege to start a series of interviews with Frans about above-mentioned venture, but also about the history of Springbok Radio, and his dreams for the future. Frans is adamant that the memory must and will not die, and we at the SABC Radio Archives share his sentiment. With Frans's help (Frans is actually doing most of the work), we are serious in preserving what is left of Springbok Radio, and also in taking it back to the public. Our contribution will firstly be in the form of preserving Frans's knowledge about Springbok Radio. I think it is safe to say that nobody knows as much about the stations and the people who used to be involved in it as Frans. Secondly we would like to conduct interviews with Springbok Radio role-players who are still with us, in order to ensure preservation of the memory. Thirdly we are continuously working with Frans to get material safely back to the SABC, where it will be kept for generations to come.
Frans always loved Springbok Radio, and started collecting after the station closed. His first recording however was with a tape recorder and a microphone against the speaker. Private recordings being donated makes up a large part of the existing collection. Frans does the tracing, retrieving, editing and cataloguing, as well as the digital stream all from his own pocket, which is not always cheap, but he finds his reward in the satisfaction of knowing people can relive this wonderful part of our history.
As for Springbok Radio Digital, Frans believes it can continue for a very long time with the material available, so listeners can look forward to a long and happy listening relationship with Springbok Radio Digital, if all goes according to plan.
From our side we would like to thank Frans for what he is doing, and also for his attitude towards the SABC Radio Archives, who would love to help making the material available to the public.
"If we don't see you through the week, we will see you through the window"
-Retha Buys, Custodian: Springbok Radio: SABC Radio Archives