Posted by Editor
The Minister of Communications, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane, on 20 April 2018 met with Sentech, the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
meeting was scheduled to resolve the impasse between Sentech and numerous
community radio stations whose transmission signal was terminated for failure
to pay outstanding signal distribution fees owed to Sentech.
Fifteen community radio stations were the previous week suspended from broadcasting and a
further seventeen would have been affected in an attempt by Sentech to
recover R 33 million that it is owed by community radio stations.
have managed to broker an agreement between the parties that will be aided by
our support to the community radio stations through the MDDA. Sentech has
agreed to reconnect all suspended stations and will not effect any further
suspensions in the short-term whilst we seek to find sustainable solutions to
the financial viability of the community media sector," said Minister Mokonyane.
have also committed to further engage the community radio sector through a
process aimed at strengthening governance, financial management, revenue
generation and skills development within the sector. The above will create an
environment wherein community radio stations are geared to attract investment
and advertising expenditure from both the public and private sector."
Minister has also committed to hosting a Community Radio Sector Summit to be
held in May 2018, which will provide a platform to further explore the variety
of challenges and opportunities that exist within the sector.
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," concluded Minister Mokonyane.
government is committed to ensuring that the community media sector is provided
the requisite support to ensure its effectiveness in providing information to
the most vulnerable and sometimes isolated communities.
-An edited version of a statement issued by the Government Communication and
Information System (GCIS)