A wrap of the National Community Radio Corporate Governance Indaba

About 400 delegates from various community radio stations in the country attended the National Community Radio Corporate Governance Indaba in Polokwane from the 20th to the 26th of September 2012.

The Department of Communication was in charge of the first two days.  Various speakers addressed the delegates, including Minister of Communications Dina Pule, Director General from the Department of Communication, Ms Rosey Sekese, Chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) Dr Stephen Ngcube, Sipho Mathedimusa from the South African Revenue Services, Chief Executive Officer of Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Lumko Mtimde and Chief Director of Government Communications Information System (GCIS), Donald Liphoko.

Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Communication Eric Kholwane said one of the committee’s aim is that by 2014 each municipality has a community station. According to Kholwane it should be government’s responsibility to make sure that community stations are sustainable.

MDDA Chief Executive Lumko Mtimde said they are looking into having a central booking and monitoring system for advertising for all community radio.  MDDA is also planning a community radio museum where it will display old equipment from stations like Bush Radio and Radio Zibonele.

From the 22nd to the 25th September, the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) took over the programme with three concurrent training workshops to develop the sector.  Several issues were dealt with including Corporate Governance and Leadership, Sales and Financial Sustainability and High Performance Team Management and Motivation.

These three sessions dealt with the current challenges faced by community radio stations and also outlined the prospects towards growth and the advancement of the sector.

The National Community Radio Forum (NCRF) took over the conference on the last day, convening member stations into a national general council.  Several issues were up for discussion including membership fees, provincial hubs, one rate card for all stations for GCIS and NCRF to have a training and capacity programme as a project on its own and to roll out the sector skills plan.

The DOC released a discussion document at the conference entitled Corporate governance as a foundation to sustainability.  The document was not received well by the delegates as it portrayed the sector in a biased negative light, it was proposed that the document be withdrawn. NCRF said it is concerned in the manner the discussion document showed the situation of Corporate Governance in the sector, which is very one-sided.

NCRF stated that Community Radio in the country continues to play a developmental role in communities, creating platforms for dialogue, debates and freedom of expression in local communities.

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