c) Organisation of material: In July 1996, Vukani
approached music companies such as Gallo and BMG in Johannesburg,
requesting them to donate CDs to the radio. This move was taken
because the radio did not have funds to buy music material. A total
number of 79 CDs was received from these two companies. We also
got 13 audio tapes from Spider's Web that deals with primary health
education. We also received audio tapes from Soul City on drama
entitled "Intliziyo ephilisayo". These tapes contained 74 episodes.
Lastly, we got 9 audio tapes from IDASA dealing with community issues
like community policing and the debate about truth and reconciliation.
d) Fund-raising: Up to now, he have not yet received
funding from Umverteilen, who promised us initial funding for the
programme. Open Society Foundation of South Africa was also approach
to fund the radio, which came in October 1996, to assess the radio.
Through it is prepared, in principle, to fund us, there were some
issues that it wanted to be sorted out before considering our application,
e.g. that Vukani undergoes an organisational process. CALUSA followed
this up at the beginning of 1997.
Problems and solutions
* Funding is still our most serious problem in that we have not
been able to secure any financial assistance for the radio. Though
the German donor promised us financial assistance, that promise
is not yet been fulfilled. To address the matter, other funders
have been approached, e.g. Open Society Foundation. There is also
local fund-raising through advertisements that we are developing
* Due to the problem of funding, the radio could not recruit presenters,
to work on a full-time basis. As a way of addressing the problem,
volunteers were recruited into the programme.
* Through introduction of volunteers posed as a solution, training
of those volunteers has been another problem that the organisation
had to address. Exposure visits to other radio stations have been
used to orientate the volunteers. Some of the volunteers have been
taken for training in certain areas such as primary health care
programming. Efforts are being made to identify other training institutions.
* It is clear that we need to train certain staff members on basic
maintenance of the radio or get somebody who has maintenance skills.
This weakness was exposed when the radio went off air on the 27th
April 1996, for 5 days due a technical fault. We got a technician
from Radio Transkei, who came to assist us fix the fault. The fault
was attributed to electricity fluctuations in our area, that caused
the mixer to blow up. On the 11th September our radio
experienced another problem which affected our transmitter. Funds
permitting, we intend sending the radio co-ordinator for a technical
training on radio maintenance.
* The electricity fluctuations in our area is a problem that is
beyond our control. Electricity Supply Commission [ESCOM] has been
approached to look into the matter. ESKOM's response is that the
present electricity transmitter needs to be replaced.
We are presently networking with the following structures:
=> National Community Radio Forum, based in Johannesburg
=> Grahamstown Radio Station
=> UNITRA Radio Station, in Umtata
=> MAU Community Radio in Maclear and Ugie.
On the 7th - 8th December 1996, there was
a delegation from Grahamstown and MAU Radio Stations, to share ideas
and skills with us as people in the same region.
Though we have problems financially, we are determined to overcome
them. This feeling is caused by the fact that there is commitment
in people involved in the radio. Training of the personnel is a
priority at the moment, so that the radio can produce good programmes.
Good programmes will make the radio attractive to people and thus
be usefull as a communication and a sharing tool [ideas and experiences]
in our area.
By Sipho Tabo