'We need radio that talks to community'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Community radio stakeholders have been urged to realign their content to the needs of their audiences so as to be more sustainable.

This was one of the key resolutions taken at the close of a two-day National Community Radio Conference that ended in Durban yesterday. Stakeholders agreed that community radio had to be effectively marketed and the product had to be appealing to the advertising industry. The conference also resolved that strong management and proper human resource structuring was an important element in the success of community radio stations. The conference organised by the Department of Communications will culminate in the drawing up of a report to determine a five-year plan for the sustainability of community radio in South Africa.

Speaking at the conference Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) councillor, Robert Nkuna, said the regulatory body would focus on specifics needed to ensure a smooth broadcast of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Nkuna said Icasa was exploring the necessity of creating an enabling environment or a regulatory dispensation for the World Cup tournament.

"We will ask ourselves questions about specific regulatory issues that must be considered to provide smooth coverage of the World Cup in 2010, including universal access to the World Cup broadcasts."

He said depending on the availability of frequencies Icasa would ensure that no community would be deprived of an opportunity to own a community radio station.