43 Community Radio Stations Face Closure In South Africa
Over 40 community radio stations across South Africa are facing a shut down because of a lack of funding, licences and overwhelming amounts of debt.
Thabang Pusoyabone, the Secretary for the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), said that community radio in the country was being attacked by stakeholders who should be empowering the advances made over the past 25 years, instead of destroying them.
Pusoyabone said that the NCRF’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) held an emergency meeting in Durban last Friday to formulate a plan to respond to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) having closed down 43 stations.
He said at the meeting the CEC members agreed that ICASA should review its decision to close the stations.
Pusoyabone said that the government had not yet carried through on its promise to spend at least 30% of the nation’s advertising budget on supporting community media and bail them out of the signal distribution costs of Sentec.
He added that the CEC urges all who support freedom of speech and media diversity to join it on November 8 as it marches for the cause.
ICASA’s spokesperson Paseka Maleka said that ICASA is not aware of 43 stations that are facing closure.
He did confirm, however, that ICASA’s records show that 29 community radio stations are facing closure due to not having broadcasting licences.
Credit: This article originated from www.iol.co.za