ICASA Shuts Down FS Community Radio Station
In the Freestate region, South Africa, a dysfunctional community radio station in Sasolburg has been taken off the air by the Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) with immediate effect.
Paseka Maleka, the spokesperson of ICASA, told OFM News that the broadcasting rights of Karabo FM had been taken away because of continuous non-compliance with the regulations set by ICASA.
ICASA alleges that the station has been in and out of trouble and has appeared before the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) three times within a period of a year and six months.
The station is said to have repeatedly disregarded ICASA’s orders that had been handed down in accordance with the Independent Communications Act.
Maleka said that the council of ICASA had made the decision to revoke the license of Karabo Community Station. The main reason for this seemingly drastic action was that the station had never been compliant with the guidelines set by ICASA even after being given chances time and time again. Appearing before the compliance committee three times in the space of almost 18 months was proof that the radio station had displayed a blatant disregard for authority and Icasa had no other option but to pull the plug on Karabo FM.
Karabo FM had appeared before the Council as a defendant at three public hearings held on 17 March 2017, 24 January and also on 21 September 2018.
At the last public hearing held on 21 September 2018, the Council concluded that it was clear that the two community groups who were representing Karabo FM were in constant conflict with one another and would never work together peacefully to serve the needs and interests of their community.
ICASA said that the radio station had been continuously under threat of disruption and violation and had to be closed down because it couldn’t carry on this way.
ICASA’s Keabetswe Modimoeng said that despite all the interventions and efforts by Icasa and the Council to bring stability and ensure compliance, the community radio station had become stagnant and remained non-compliant.
In conclusion, Modimoeng said that the Council was convinced that the station in question had no potential future as a community broadcaster.