Today, Friday 5 May, brand new state-of-the-art broadcast studios in Maputaland in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) have been unveiled.
For Community Radio107.6 FM, the studios were opened by Deputy Minister in the Presidency Nomasonto Motaung and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).
The station broadcasts in isiZulu (75%), Xitsonga (2%), Siswati (3%) and English (20%). Its pay offline is Gqama laph’ khona, which in English means, “Shine wherever you are”.
The station was founded by three community members affiliated to the Maputaland Youth Development Agency NGO which operated in this area.
It identified that this area’s community was completely closed off from getting news and information from the rest of the country.
While it did not even have a community newspaper circulating in the area, the illiteracy numbers were very high. The result was that the community was starved of information and reading material.
The team wanted a community radio platform that would address the communication gaps between the community and the local government structures.
However, a number of challenges to setting up such a platform, such as poor road infrastructure, poor telecommunication services and poor cellular network services, were identified.
Standing the test of time
The IBA granted the Maputaland Community radio station a one-month trial basis broadcasting license in December 2000.
The radio station was finally granted a four-year license on 15 June 2002. It has been on air since then and has stood the test of time in the sector which is plagued by compliance and other management issues.
“As the MDDA celebrates 20 years of diversifying community media, we will also celebrate the milestone of Maputaland CRS as one of the first projects to be funded by the MDDA in 2005/6 financial year,” the MDDA said in a statement.
The new state-of the art studios will elevate the quality of broadcasting, making it appealing to potential partners and propel Maputaland Community Radio 107.6 FM to even greater heights.
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