Archive for July, 2019

Keep your voice alive

31/07/2019

Always cutting edge, Bush Radio explores issues in an insightful and meaningful way, giving the people of Cape Town access to media that highlights their voices – through music, entertainment, social upliftment and getting hands-on with media training.

The wide range of programming includes human rights, LGBTIQ+, gender, labour, job opportunities, basic health care, entrepreneurship, and offering information deemed necessary by our communities.

Africa’s oldest community radio station project, it was started in the 1980s by community activists and alternative media producers to explore ways in which grassroots media could be used for social upliftment and as an alternative voice during the apartheid era.

Today Bush Radio ensures it remains relevant, necessary and effects change through carefully curated media projects by working with partners to build dynamic programming. These projects include the Children’s Radio Education Workshop, where children aged between 6 and 18 years going live on-air, and the Media Kidocracy Konference where children aged 12 and up are trained to produce media content.

As an incubator for new media talent, Bush Radio has trained many young people from the Cape Flats and beyond who have now moved on into the media industry and beyond, also helping to build young start-ups and artists.

The community media sector is struggling in South Africa and even though Bush Radio is engaging on various levels, including with the government, to find a solution, we need daily costs such as rent, transmission, communication and stipends for the young people to get on-the-job training covered.

Your contribution will go towards ensuring that young people have a place where they can get access to quality media training and experience and that Cape Town’s communities continue to actively contribute to discussions around the issues affecting them.

Related: Community Media demands to be heard

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Community Media demands to be heard

17/07/2019

This morning during a scheduled engagement with the Community Media sector and the new Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu before his budget vote to Parliament, members of the sector handed a memorandum to the minister to highlight the current plight of community media.

The Minister felt that he was ambushed by the sector as he was under the impression that it was a simple “meet and greet”.

Below is the memorandum as it was issued.

MEMORANDUM TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY, 17 July 2019

Community radio, print and TV sectors

Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the country has made impressive gains in the promotion of media diversity through support for emerging, small commercial newspapers and community broadcasting services serving the majority of the people who were previously excluded. 

In the early 90’s media activists, many of whom are in this room today, fought for the establishment of the Media Development and Diversity Agency, tasked with the supporting community and independent media in South Africa. Since then the regulator has license over 200 community radio reaching an estimated audience of 8 million and 6 community TV stations reaching an estimated, collective audience of 14 million.

Community Newspapers by Independent publishers print in excess of 6 million copies per month with a readership that exceeds 20 million South Africans in all 11 official languages. Collectively the sector employs tens of thousands of previously disadvantaged individuals countrywide.

Unfortunately, in the last decade or so, these impressive gains have been rolled back as stations have struggled for survival in the face of weakened institutions (MDDA, GCIS and ICASA), state capture, government complacency and failed promises.

Year after year the sector attends “engagements” with the DoC, GCIS and the MDDA. Every year we regurgitate the same challenges and propose the same solutions. Every year the government and its agencies promise to address the issues and then nothing is done.

This year is different. The community media sector is on the verge of collapse with an estimated collective debt sitting at around R180 million. This is made up largely of debts to SAMRO & CARPASSO, SENTECH, SARS and rental. As we speak stations are being served eviction notices from their premises, retrenching staff and getting deeper into debt.

It makes no difference whether the MDDA and GCIS report to the DoC or to the Presidency, as long as something gets done.  The sector simply cannot be allowed to fail.

We call upon the Presidency to implement the following immediate measures:

• Provide emergency relief funding to pay off the collective debt to SARS, SENTECH, SAMRO & CARPASSO (paid to stations or directly to debtors – to avoid CSD challenges) – R150 million for radio, R15 million for TV and R15 million for print.

• Increase MDDA budget to allow for annual grant for all community broadcasters and increased support for print publishers.

• Build MDDA capacity at board and operational level to speed up grant approval and disbursement.

• Implement the Parliamentary Portfolio Directive (Nov, 2011) to spend 30 % of government adspend on community media.

Additional measures to improve the sustainability of the sector are outlined in the full memorandum

RIP Matthew Buck

13/07/2019
Matthew Buck, Karas – Namibia 2008 pic by A.Louw

It is with great shock that we at Bush Radio learnt this evening of the passing of Matthew Buck. Matthew was a volunteer, trainer and eventually Bush Radio’s main technical support and installer for our studios.

Below is an extract from a social media post by Adrian Louw our Programme Integrator:

“It’s Friday evening around 8pm on 28 July 1995, Matt and myself were the last two people in the building. The final touches to Africa’s oldest community radio station project’s first legal on-air studio were being put in place.

Then the worst possible thing happened – a buzz, then a click. The Soundcraft Series5 mixer’s power supply had blown. With just over a week to go for the official broadcast and now legal switch-on, it was a disaster.
Matt called the supplier from his Motorola (he was the first person I knew who owned a cellphone) and after a few hours of intense cursing and fancy soldering, he had the power supply fixed.

Fast forward to 2008, and I was on one of my training missions in a town called Karas in Namibia, and Matt and his team were building the studios. Again, final testing for the handover to the crew there and then something on the telephone hybrid blew.

Ever since, Matt and I agreed that I would not be there when they did any final handovers. And so, when Bush Radio moved on to a digital studio in 2012, I took a day’s leave at the end of the install and handover… Matt and his team were responsible for the installation of most of the studios from the initial licensing of Community Radio in South Africa.

And, with so many who continue to exploit the sector, he was one of the few people we could rely on at Bush Radio.

Matthew (as I always insisted on calling him), I will miss you.

His final message to me was “Tell Adrian not to worry.”

To Levi, his family and friends: there would be no community radio sector in South Africa if it wasn’t for people like Matthew.

Matthew chose to walk with the people of South Africa and this continent.

We need more like him. “

We have the cream for your Peaches and Herb

08/07/2019

Soulful Superstars and Bush Radio is giving away 4 tickets per family to the Peaches & Herb with special guest Eban Brown (Stylistics) show. All you have to do is answer one simple question.

Where will the concert be taking place?

SMS the key HERB + your answer + your name and surname to 32158.

SMS costs R1 and free sms’s do not apply.

The lucky draw line closes on Sunday 14 July at midnight. The winner will be announced on Monday, 15 July 2019 during the Morning Cruise.


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