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Radio 7441 FM receives funding for two studios

R3.3m from MDDA for community station

Radio 7441 FM, a community radio station.
Radio 7441 FM, a community radio station.
Image: Vukuzenzele

Radio 7441 FM, a community radio station that provides information and entertainment to the community of Malmesbury in the Western Cape, was given a boost after receiving funding for two studios.

The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) provided the radio station with R3.3m for its new on-air studio and production studios.

Manager and Radio 7441 FM founder Norman Mazibuko said the community radio station, which broadcasts in the West Coast district municipality, started in a tavern in 2019.

It broadcasts mainly in Xhosa, with 20% English content. The station is set to grow further.

“The new state-of-the-art studios will elevate the quality of broadcasting, making it appealing to potential partners and propelling Radio 7441 FM to even greater heights,” said Mazibuko.

According to the deputy minister in the presidency, Thembi Siweya, the MDDA approved funding for 22 community broadcast projects in the 2020/2021 financial year, with Radio 7441 FM being one of them.

Funding for community media

The MDDA’s mandate is to promote media development and diversity.

It funds community media projects, such as radio, TV, print and digital publications on an annual basis. It also funds small commercial print publications.

The application process opens in May and closes after six weeks.

“The MDDA has since its inception, supported over 300 community media initiatives. In its funding support, the MDDA applies a stringent set of criteria to identify those projects whose priority is to change the material conditions in local communities plagued by social and economic inequalities,” said Siweya.

Mazibuko said that when applying for funding, the radio station had to ensure it had an active Independent Communications Authority of SA licence to broadcast. In addition, it had to be tax compliant, and ensure that its status as a non-profit company was up to date.

The MDDA also requires that applicants in the field of broadcast have audited financial statements. However, projects that are less than two years old are not required to submit financial statements. Applicants that have already published print and online publications are required to submit copies of their work.

Other requirements are:

  • An affidavit stating the applicant is not connected to, owned or controlled by any commercial media entity or individual; or any political party and government;
  • A business plan with a three-year financial projection plan. There is a business plan template downloadable from the MDDA website;
  • A budget outline using the Excel template downloadable from the MDDA website;
  • A copy of the station’s programming schedule; and
  • The CVs of four key personnel.

This article first appeared in the GCIS's Vuk'uzenzele

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