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.

Winter ad packages for first-time advertisers

26/06/2019

Are you a new business looking to build your brand or increase your reach in Cape Town and beyond? We have an exclusive offer to first-time advertisers with us.

Winter Package 1
20 x 30 second ads
1 x 5 minute interview
Cost: R1500

Winter Package 2
30 x 30 second ads
1 x 5 minute interview
Cost: R2000

* Offer is valid to first-time advertisers from the 25 June to 1 September 2019.
* 100% deposit must be paid upfront to secure the booking.
* Advertising and interview must be completed by the 30 September 2019.
* Social media campaigns available.

Contact Gabebah or Kholeka on 0214485450 or sales@bushradio.co.za

Check out our 2019 Rate Card and demographics

Politicians, drag queens and schoolchildren #SONA2019 #6thParliament

21/06/2019

On Thursday the 20th June 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation address to the people of South Africa via Parliament.

As usual the Bush Radio team was at the sitting covering all aspects of the speech, from expectations of civil society and political parties, the fashion and the protests.

Here is a picture slideshow of some of the happenings:

Check out our instagram for more videos and pictures.

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Dear Mr President – #6thParliament #SONA2019 #dearmrpresident

18/06/2019

The first State of the Nation Address in this new term of Parliament is scheduled to take place on Thursday, 20 June 2019.

What do you want the President to address in his State of the Nation address?

*Bush Radio will be bringing you live coverage and analysis of the speech.

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Getting a taste for radio

13/06/2019

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Learner’s from the Sound and Light team at Muizenberg High School got to spend some time at Bush Radio on Wednesday the 12 June.

The young people had the opportunity to interact with the trainees at Bush Radio in all the areas; news, production, on air and presenting. They where roped into a recorded discussion on youth issues where they were able to share their views on Youth Day and the challenges and exciting opportunities facing young people.

Bush Radio’s commitment to developing young people is well known through it’s Children’s Radio Education Workshop and being the first station that provides a direct output for young people to make not just only radio, but all forms of media for themselves.

If your school would like to visit Bush Radio send an email to mother@bushradio.co.za or call 021448540 for more details.

Facebook post

Get into the Golden Circle with #BenHarper

28/05/2019

Bush Radio is giving 3 lucky listeners and their partners the chance to see Ben Harper perform live in Cape Town, supported by the Soweto Gospel Choir and the Jack Mantis Band on the 4th June 2019 at Grandwest.

To stand a chance of winning a set of Golden Circle tickets:

  1. like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram or Twitter.
  2. Then sms the keyword BEN and your name, surname to 32158.

The SMS* line will close on Friday the 31 May 2019 at 1pm.

The winners will be announced during a special 30 Minutes with Auriol Hays on Backchat at 2pm on the same day. Auriol Hays is one of the supporting acts for the Ben Harper concert. Auriol will highlight her work, music and her love for Ben Harper.

*SMS cost R1 and free minutes do not apply. This is a lucky draw, so enter as often as you like to improve your chances.

I am an African – #AfricaDay

22/05/2019

Africa Day on the 25th May is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union in 1963.

Join us as we celebrate all that makes us African. As Africa’s oldest community radio station project, this day has a special significance to us.

Watch the “I am an African” video clip.

The video above features an amended extract from the, “I am an African” speech by Thabo Mbeki at the adoption of the RSA Constitution Bill, 8 May 1996.

 

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“Activism: Past, Present and Future.” #TBT

16/05/2019

On Human Rights Day (21 March 2019) Bush Radio broadcast live from Community House as part of their celebration of 34 years of activism.

One of the our international interns, Katherine Goguen from the United States compiled this video clip.

Besides being part of the organizing committee, we also had several interviews leading up to the day and spent the day at Community House broadcasting and engaging in the discussions and activities

 


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