Africa's pioneering radio station struggling to survive

Tough times: Africa's oldest community radio station project is struggling to survive

By Lelethu Mquqo
23 August 2011

The Mother of Community radio stations in Africa is on the verge of shutting down.

Bush Radio, which is the oldest community radio project in Africa, celebrated 16 years of being legally on air in August 2011 on the frequency 89.5 FM.

Unfortunately, the station is on the brink of closure due to financial struggles according to a post on the radio station's blog.

Unless Bush Radio finds a substantial amount of money to cover rent, transmission and other running costs, it will shut down.

The station owes the owner of their building they currently use as a station an amount of R300 000.

According to the station’s Managing Director, Ms Brenda Leonard, the landlord has given the station until the 31 August 2011 to come with a concrete proposal on how they are going to raise the money.

“We are asking our listeners, friends, supporters and former interns or staff to make a donation so that Bush Radio can continue with its operations. Any donation, however big or small, is welcome”, Leonard said. (see Request for Support letter)

From the coverage of breaking stories, national, world news and politics, Bush Radio has been a pioneer.

As a community radio station, Bush Radio has represented and stood as the mouth piece of the community, tackling issues that affect different communities around the country particularly in the Western Cape.

Leonard says, “Besides being the pioneer for community radio in South Africa, Bush Radio adds value to the broadcast spectrum through its up to date community news, analytical coverage of current affairs and its coverage of all community activities. Bush Radio, in a nutshell, gives value and support to the local events and community initiatives that strengthens our democracy.”

Donations can be deposited into:

Name of Account : Bush Radio
Name of bank : Standard Bank
Branch name : Mowbray
Branch code : 02-4909
Account number : 07 122 0194
Swift code (for foreign transfers): SBZA ZA JJ
Address: 37 – 39 Main Road, Mowbray, South Africa, 7705

For more information, contact Bush Radio on +27 21 – 448 5450.


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