No one should have to pay or bribe someone to get funding for their community radio station, because it is a free service provided by government and the only thing radio stations need to receive funding is to comply with the rules and regulations.
This was Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane’s message over the weekend, in response to allegations of bribery and corruption within the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).
Mokonyane was visiting Tshwane on Friday and held meetings with two of Tshwane’s community radio stations, Mamelodi FM and Poort FM, as part of her community radio station outreach programme, which will be held throughout the country.
The radio stations’ biggest concern is the lack of funding, which has resulted in Poort FM going off air due to a lack of funds.
Tanya Ramatlo, Poort FM station manager, said they could not pay their bills and service providers.
“Government wants us to be self-sustainable, but we need the funding to get off our feet to achieve this,” Ramatlo said. She added that since March this year, the MDDA promised to pay their funds out by the end of the month, but failed.
They have now made renewed promises in the presence of the minister, but Ramatlo said talk is cheap and she wants to see action.
Mokonyane said government would assist those radio stations that comply with the regulations, and try to help them get out of the woods.