Robbing community radio stations does not make sense
It is very easy to start a community radio station, but difficult to sustain it. This is because it is not easy to attract advertisers and sponsors. Without advertisers, it's difficult to run a radio station. Hence, many come and go.
In Mogale City, there are a number of community radio stations. In Kagiso, there is one called Westside FM which serves the rest of the West Rand.
It was founded by Goodhope Ledwaba who started it from scratch and build it up to the brand which it is now.
Westside FM has trained and groomed many journalists and radio broadcasters over the years. Mpho Khiba is one of them. When he left the station, he joined Daily Sun newspaper and later e.tv.
When violence erupted in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng a month ago, Westside FM was vandalised and computers stolen. The station had to close down for a few days. After buying computers and other equipment, with the help of other people, Westside was back on air again much to the relief of the community.
Last week, the radio station suffered another misfortune, when it was attacked by armed robbers. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Once again, computers and other equipment were stolen. The radio station is off air again.
A community radio belongs to the community, not individuals. But if the same community vandalises and steal from the local radio, then it does not understand the role and purpose of community radio. That's sad and unfortunate.
Thabile Mange, Mogale City
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