South Africa: Community Radio Should Deal With Local Issues

Monday, Jun 27, 2016

Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says community radio should broadcast content that will help tackle issues that affect people at local level.

The Minister said this when she addressed Khayelitsha residents at the re-launch of Zibonele FM's logo on Saturday.

Addressing journalists after unveiling the station's new logo, the Minister said using the radio platform to address issues like drug abuse, which is prevalent in the Western Cape, will contribute to community development.

"As the department, together with the SABC and the Film and Publications Board, we will make sure that we have resources that support content that has to deal with matters affecting youth and the community at large.

"We have made mention of the issue of local content, and to me when it comes to community radio then it must be 100% because it should be about the stories of the people of Khayelitsha - them telling their own stories," she said.

Scheme to help community radio remain sustainable

Despite government's limited resources, government will do all it can to ensure that oversight is provided to ensure community radio stations are well run and accountable.

Last November, government introduced the Community Broadcasting Scheme which aims to provide sustainable funding assistance to community radio stations.

This was an important start, said the Minister, who added that if government can assist to lessen the funding challenges facing community media, it can rightfully say that half the battle would have been won.

"As government, we operate with a limited budget... with the scheme, we are supporting community radio stations to adhere to governance matters because once they get it right, their financials are ok and they are able to get sponsors.

"With this scheme, we want to attract young professionals. We want to have a programme wherein we must support school leavers [especially those who have talent in broadcasting] so that we can have better broadcasters tomorrow."

Zibonele FM a trendsetter

Meanwhile, Zibonele FM has advanced into the digital era by broadcasting online as well.

"Zibonele FM is one of the few community radio stations that you can listen to online. It means through their efforts, their revenue collection strategy, they managed to make sure they are online.

"We are encouraging all community radio stations as government to adapt with the changes, like how Zibonele FM has done... "


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