Community radio stations nationwide face a shutdown for owing Sentech R33 million. In the Free-State Karabo and Mozolo FM are already off air.
“The people that are working here have been affected because as we speak now they have not been coming to work. So they are unsure in terms of their future in broadcasting. Community radio stations support community participation and deal with community issues,” says the station’s manager, Nyiko Mathebula.
In many instances, community radio bridges the information gap between rich and poor. Nationwide, community radio reaches nine million people. In the Free State it has a reach of 560 000.
The RockFM in the Free State has been served with a notice of closure.
“It’s a problem, Sentech just gave us a headache and you know that Sentech did not even warn us that they going to shut down the stations,” said Rock’s FM Kenny Moholobela.
The EFF has also appealed to Sentec to reconsider its decision.
On Friday, the communications ministry is expected to meet Sentech and other stakeholders to break the impasse.