Posts Tagged ‘karabo fm’

Getting to grips with challenges of Community Radio @DeptDoc

10/05/2018
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Deputy Minister of Communications with Khusi and Tyler from the Morning Cruise

The Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Pinky Kekana visited Bush Radio on Thursday (10 May 2018) as a lead up to the department’s budget vote in Parliament.

During her visit, the deputy minister said that she is visiting Africa’s oldest community radio station project to better understand the challenges facing the sector and the unique challenges facing each station.

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Intensive discussion with Bush Radio regarding the state of community media

After the visit to Bush Radio, Kekana addressed the National Community Radio Forum Western Cape Meeting where she said that the Sentech issue; where stations’ transmissions were cut due to arrears, was a wake-up call to the Department of Communication.

She said that the discussion on the challenges would be taken forward at the proposed Community Media Summit, and that the summit would be solution orientated.

pinky kekana adrian louw old transmitter

The Deputy Minister being shown the operational transmitter used in Bush Radio’s pirate transmissions pre-1994

The Deputy Minister also discussed the role of government to provide an enabling environment for the sustainability of community broadcasters by assisting in opening doors from corporates through advertising.

Related:

Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

UPDATE: Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

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UPDATE: Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

21/04/2018

The Minister of Communications, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane has received a commitment from Sentech to reconnect all suspended stations and halt any suspensions while looking for solutions to assist the community radio sector. Mokonyane issued the statement after a meeting with Sentech, the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on Friday, 20th April 2018.

Several stations had been suspended due to non-payment of Sentech transmission costs which lead Bush Radio to issue a statement on their behalf.

The Minister also committed to hosting a Community Radio Sector Summit to be held in May 2018, that will provide a platform to further explore the variety of challenges and opportunities that obtain within the sector.

“The community radio sector is a critical communication platform to ensure we provide our people with access to information in their communities as a means towards the creation of an informed citizenry. It is for this reason that we cannot allow the sector to collapse” said Minister Mokonyane.

Read: Sentech to reconnect community radio stations suspended for non-payment

Related: Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

13/04/2018

no broadcast 2018

* Bush Radio is publishing the full press statement below issued by concerned community radio station managers in the interests of the community radio sector

13 April 2018

Sentech action gags community radio – A call to protect this valuable resource of community radio which provides media access to marginalised peoples.

More than 6 community radio stations across the country – including Hope FM, Forte FM and Karabo FM – are no longer broadcasting to their communities because their Sentech accounts are in arrears. Dozens of other stations are receiving threatening letters saying they face a “suspension of their services” if they do not pay up immediately.

“We asked to make a payment arrangement with Sentech, but the company’s expectations for a payment plan were unrealistic,” Duncan Sinthumule, Station Manager from Karabo FM in Free State says.

Sentech then declined the payment plan offered by the Karabo FM and wanted the station to pay R116,458.00 “immediately” with monthly payments of R52,152.90 for 18 months until the debt is settled.

”We cannot even afford to pay R15,000.00 per month, how will we be able to stick to their payment plan?” Sinthumule said.

As non-profit entities, community radio stations are expected to raise their own funds through advertising, sponsorship and fundraising.

The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), a SOE created with the mandate to amongst others “promote media development and diversity by providing support primary to community and small commercial media projects” only receives a small budget from the Department of Communications (DOC), and cannot provide support to over 200 community radio stations in South Africa.

Radio stations have called for a meeting with Minister of Communications Ms Nomvula Mokonyane to discuss the matter, with an expected meeting in the week of April 16.

Our demands follow…

We demand:

  • A moratorium on suspension of services by Sentech, and the switching-on of those stations taken off air
  • Debt write-off or DOC to release funds for Sentech debt
  • Restructuring of Sentech pricing for community radio stations
  • An annual grant to community radio stations

These demands are not unreasonable. As community radio stations, we operate under slow-growing economic climate that makes income via advertising very difficult.

Unlike commercial radio stations, we spend our broadcast hours promoting democracy, nationalism, social cohesion, cultural practices, local indigenous languages and local music. We educate, inform and entertain our communities we serve, and do this – in most instances – without any support from the government.

Taking community radio stations off air is an attack on media pluralism, negating the gains made in the media under the democratic government over the past 22 years. It will take us another 20 years to recover from this damage caused by Sentech.

For interviews or more information, contact:

  • Hope FM – Ntaps Moteka – 0791667566
  • Karabo FM – Duncan Sinthumule – 0735792840
  • Forte FM – Siya – 0732515487
  • The Rock FM – Kenny Moholobela – 0734861627
  • Eden FM – Morne Pietersen – 082 471 6253
  • LAFM – Ignatius Mnyamana – 0790679635

Issued by: Bush Radio on behalf of the affected community radio stations