Media


Community radio in South Africa

Community radio is a crucial part of the South African broadcasting landscape, providing diversity for listeners and much-needed skills for the commercial radio sector.

However, community radio, by its nature, struggles to access advertising and other forms of financing.

There are an estimated 15,4-million radio sets in South Africa, with community radio garnening almost 8,6-million listeners a week.

During the apartheid era, broadcasting was firmly in the grip of the state-run South African Broadcasting Authority. With democracy came the deregulation and liberalisation of broadcasting, and the number of stations operating outside of the authority's control proliferated.

Community radio in South Africa began in 1994, when Icasa, the county's broadcasting authority, began the continuing process of assessing and granting licence applications from groups as diverse as rural women's co-operatives, Afrikaner communities and a variety of religious bodies.

The country now has more than 165 community stations, broadcast in a number of languages with content as diverse as the country itself. Their scope and reach varies enormously - from the 416000 Joburgers who make up the audience of Jozi FM to, for example, the 32000 people who listen to Overvaal Stereo in the farming communities of the Free State province.

Many community broadcasters are represented by the National Community Radio Forum, which was formed in 1993 to lobby for the diversification of the airwaves and to promote the development and growth of the community radio sector. It has 120 members, of which 88 were on air in 2012.

COMMUNITY RADIO WEBSITES

A selection of community radio stations, arranged by province:

Eastern Cape

Bay FM

Bay FM was born out of Radio Uppie at the University of Port Elizabeth. Now independent of the university and run by members of the community, the station's programming reflects its young target market and goes out in a mix of English and Xhosa, with 60% music and 40% talk.

  • Frequency: 107.9 FM
  • Broadcast area: Port Elizabeth, Despatch, Uitenhage, Motherwell, Kwa-Zakhele and Kwa-Maghake
  • Audience (past seven days): 67000
  • Language: 70% English and 30% Xhosa
  • Website: www.bayfm.co.za

Kingfisher FM

Kingfisher FM is a family lifestyle radio station, broadcasting to the Nelson Mandela Bay area and surrounds. It's a mix of music and talk, about lifestyle, life and opinions, reflecting South Africa's vibrant and ever-changing society.

  • Frequency: 103.8 and 107.5 FM
  • Broadcast area: Port Elizabeth, Despatch, Jeffreys Bay, Cape St. Francis, Oyster Bay, St. Francis Bay, Colchester, Addo, Hankey, Patensie, Kirkwood, Paterson, Sundays River
  • Audience (past seven days): 100 000 (est)
  • Language: 45% Afrikaans, 36% Xhosa, 19% English
  • Website: www.kingfisherfm.co.za

Link FM 97.1

Link FM is a Christian station broadcasting from East London and targeting listeners aged 16 to 49, with programming made up of 10% talk and 90% music.

  • Frequency: 97.1 FM
  • Broadcast area: East London, Mthatha (Umtata), Queenstown, Stutterheim, Grahamstown and King Williams Town
  • Audience (past seven days): 107 000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.linkfm.co.za

Rhodes Music Radio

The station broadcasts from the campus of Rhodes University in Grahamstown, covering a radius of 25 kilometres from the town and targeting listeners and 16 to 28. Programming reflects the culture and aspirations of the student life and is made up of 40% talk and 60% music.

  • Frequency: 89.7 FM
  • Broadcast area: Grahamstown
  • Audience (past seven days): 6000
  • Language: English
  • Website: new.rhodesmusicradio.co.za/

Takalani Community Radio

Radio Takalani, which means "joy", broadcasts from Aliwal North, targeting the youth and young adults. Programming is in Xhosa, South Sotho, English and Afrikaans, with an even balance of music and talk.

  • Frequency: 98.2 FM
  • Broadcast area: UKhahlamba District Municipality area, including Aliwal North, Jamestown, Sterkspruit, Herschel, Lady Grey, Barkly East, Burgersdorp, Venterstad and Steynsberg; parts of the Free State; and some part of the Lesotho Highlands.
  • Audience (past seven days): 46000
  • Languages: Xhosa, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans
  • Website: www.takalanifm.com

Vukani Community Radio

The station broadcasts from Cala outside Elliot, targeting Xhosa-speaking listeners aged 18 to 34, with a programming mix of 40% talk and 60% music.

  • Frequency: 100.3 FM
  • Broadcast area: Cala, Elliot, Barkly East, Maclear, Aliwal North, Lady Grey, Oortrecht and Mount Fletcher
  • Audience (past seven days): 147000
  • Language: Xhosa

Free State

Motheo FM

Motheo FM focuses on the youth, broadcasting talk, music, news and local information concentrating mainly on the local content within Motheo District Municipality.

  • Frequency: 96.1 FM
  • Broadcast area: the Motheo District; some parts of Lejweleputswa, Xhariep and Thabo Mofutsanyana District; some areas of Lesotho and the Northern Cape.
  • Audience (past seven days): 256000
  • Language: Sesotho, Setswana, English and Xhosa
  • Website:www.motheofm.co.za

Overvaal Stereo

Overvaal broadcasts from Viljoenskroon, targeting listeners in Afrikaans-speaking farming communities aged 25 to 49, with programming a mix of 60% music and 40% talk.

  • Frequency: 96.1 FM
  • Broadcast area: Viljoenskroon, Potchefstroom, Klerksdorp, Odendaalrus, Welkom, Kroonstad, Virginia, Parys, Vanderbijlpark and Sasolburg
  • Audience (past seven days): 32000
  • Language: Afrikaans
  • Website: www.overvaalstereo.co.za

Qwa-Qwa Radio

The station broadcasts from Phuthatijhaba, targeting listeners aged 16 to 39, with the programming reflecting southern Sotho culture and made up of 60% talk and 40% music. Its vision is to become "the powerhouse of information, self empowerment and development of our community".

  • Frequency: 100.3 FM
  • Broadcast area: Phuthatijaba, Kestell, Clarence, Bergville and Harrismith and Bethlehem
  • Audience (past seven days): 154 000
  • Language: English and Sotho
  • Website and live internet radio: qcr.co.za

More Free State community radio stations:

Gauteng

East Rand Stereo

Broadcast from Springs, Radio East Rand targets white listeners aged 20 to 40. Programming is Christian, and comprises 35% talk and 65% music, with traffic reports and weather reports.

  • Frequency: 93.9 FM
  • Broadcast area: Springs, Alberton, Boksburg, Benoni, Brankpan and parts of Kempton Park
  • Audience (past seven days): 53000
  • Languages: English and Afrikaans
  • Website: http://www.939.co.za

JoziFM 105.8

Jozi FM broadcasts from Dube, Soweto, targeting listeners aged 16 to 49. Programming is multicultural, half talk and half music.

  • Frequency: 105.8 FM
  • Broadcast area: Soweto, parts of the West Rand up to Carltonville, Lenasia and Meyerton
  • Audience (past seven days): 416000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.jozifm.co.za

Radio Islam

Broadcasting from Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, Radio Islam aims to promote the religion of Islam, and to dispel myths about Islam and Muslims in South Africa and around the world.

  • Frequency: 1548 AM (MW)
  • Broadcast area: Gauteng
  • Audience (past seven days): 34000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.radioislam.org.za

Radio Pretoria

With the slogan, Trots Afrikaans (proudly Afrikaans), Radio Pretoria broadcasts from Pretoria through 14 transmitters in towns in Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and KwaZulu-Natal. The station targets Afrikaners, with programming a mix of 70% music and 30% talk.

  • Frequency: Varies see the Radio Pretoria website
  • Broadcast area: Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga, North West Province and KwaZulu Natal.
  • Audience (past seven days): 69000
  • Language: Afrikaans
  • Website and live audio: www.radiopretoria.co.za

Thetha FM 100.6

Thetha FM, which is based in Orange Farm, aims to provide informative and empowering programming "that can be used by our community to solve local problems". They view radio as a empowering tool that will help foster self reliance and development the community through positive change.

  • Frequency: 100.6 FM
  • Broadcast area: Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Province and Free State.
  • Audience (past seven days): 306000
  • Languages: English, Zulu, Xhosa, Sesotho
  • Website: www.thethafm.co.za

More Gauteng community radio stations:

KwaZulu Natal

Good News Community Radio

Good News Community Radio is a Christian station broadcasting from Stanger and targeting listeners aged 19 to 49. Programming is 60% talk and 40% music, with news, traffic, surf, beach and weather reports.

  • Frequency: 98.0 FM
  • Broadcast area: Tongaat, Mtunzini, Chatsworth, up the North Coast to Stanger and down the South Coast to Durban
  • Audience (past seven days): 33000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.gncr.org.za

Highway Radio

Highway Radio is a Christian station broadcasting from Pinetown and targeting listeners aged 25 to 49 half of them Indian, 20% black and the remaining 30% white and coloured. Programming is 30% talk and 70% music, with news, traffic, surf, beach and weather reports.

  • Frequency: 101.5 FM
  • Broadcast area: Pinetown, Durban, up the North Coast to Stanger and down the South Coast to Scottburgh
  • Audience (past seven days): 87000
  • Language: English
  • Website: highwayradio.ndstream.net

Hindvani FM

Hindvani seeks to promote the development and propagation of the Hindi language and music, with an even split between Hindi and English programming, and music and talk. It targets Indian listeners of all ages.

  • Frequency: 91.5 FM Durban and 102.3 Pietermaritzburg
  • Broadcast area: South Coast as far as Umkomaas, North Coast to Mandeni, West Coast to Cato Ridge and East Coast and central Durban, including Chatsworth and Phoenix
  • Audience (past seven days): 122000
  • Language: English
  • www.hindvani.co.za

Izwi Lomzansi 98.0 FM

Izwi Lomzansi describes itself as a "socially inclined" community radio station that aims to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich. It is an urban contemporary talk and music community station.

  • Frequency: 98.0FM
  • Broadcast area: EThekwini municipality and surrounds
  • Audience (past seven days): 240000
  • Language: Zulu and English (10%)
  • www.izwi98fm.co.za/

Radio Khwezi

Award-winning Radio Khwezi, "morning star" in Zulu, broadcasts from Kranskop to transmitters in Greytown and Eshowe. It targets listeners aged 16 to 49 and rogramming is inclusive, geared to empowering and educating the community, and includes environmental and cultural issues as well as news, talk shows, local drama, weather and sports.

  • Frequency: 90.5 and 107.7 FM
  • Broadcast area: KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and upper North Coast
  • Audience (past seven days): 192000
  • Languages: 80% Zulu, hour in English, German, Afrikaans
  • Website: www.khwezi.org.za

More KwaZulu-Natal community radio stations:

Limpopo

Moletsi Community Radio Station

The station broadcasts from Moletsi, 20km northwest of Polokwane, to Sepedi-speaking listeners aged 16 to 39, with programming a mix of 40% music and 60% talk.

  • Frequency: 98.6 FM
  • Broadcast area: Polokwane, Aganang, and Blouberg municipal areas
  • Audience (past seven days): 55000
  • Language: 90% Sepedi and 10% other languages
  • Website: www.moletsifm.co.za

Univen Community Radio

Broadcasting from the campus of the University of Venda in a 50-kilometre radius of Thohoyandou, Univen Community Radio targets students aged 18 to 35, with programming made up of 45% music and 55% talk.

  • Frequency: 99.8 FM
  • Broadcast area: Thohoyandou, Makhado, Giyani and Morbeng
  • Audience (past seven days): 120 000
  • Language: English, Pedi, Venda and Tsonga
  • Website: www.univen.ac.za/univen_radio.html

Mpumalanga

Moutse Community Radio 96.3 FM

Moutse Community Radio broadcasts from Groblersdal to multilingual listeners aged 18 to 35, with programming 40% music and 60% talk.

  • Frequency: 96.3 FM
  • Broadcast area: Groblersdal, Pretoria, Middelburg, Naboomspruit, Lydenburg, Dullstroom, Belfast and Witbank
  • Audience (past seven days): 126000
  • Language: Ndebele, Sotho, Tsonga, Zulu and English
  • www.mcrs.co.za

Radio Bushbuckridge 88.4 FM

Bushbuckridge Community Radio broadcasts from Bushbuckridge, 20km north of Nelspruit, to listeners aged 18 to 35. Programming is multilingual, including Sesotho, Siswati, Tsonga and English, with a mix of 55% music and 45% talk.

  • Frequency: 88.4 FM
  • Broadcast area: Bushbuckridge, Phalaborwa, Blyde River Canyon, Lydenburg, Waterval Boven, Sabie and White River
  • Audience (past seven days): 184000
  • Language: Sesotho, Siswati, Tsonga and English
  • www.radiobbr.co.za

Radio Kragbron

Radio Kragbron broadcasts from Witbank to Afrikaans-speaking listeners of all races aged 24 to 34, with a mix of 40% music and 60% talk.

  • Frequency: 96.0 FM
  • Broadcast area: Witbank, Middelburg, Ogies, Kriel, Bronkhorstspruit, Kwa Thema, Hammanskraal, Groblersdal, Witbank, Delmas and Carolina
  • Audience (past seven days): 20000
  • Language: Afrikaans
  • Website: www.931fm.co.za

Radio Laeveld

Broadcasting from Nelspruit, Radio Laeveld targets Afrikaans-speaking listeners aged 18 to 35, with programming a mix of 40% music and 60% talk.

  • Frequency: 100.5 FM
  • Broadcast area: Nelspruit, Barberton, Badplaas, Phalaborwa, Blyde River Canyon, Lydenburg, Waterval Boven, Sabie and White River
  • Audience (past seven days): 9000
  • Language: Afrikaans
  • www.radiolaeveld.co.za

North West

PUKfm 93.6 FM

The station broadcasts from Potchefstroom University, targeting students and scholars with a mix of talk and rock, hip-hop, pop and South African music.

  • Frequency: 93.6 FM
  • Broadcast area: Potchefstroom
  • Audience (past seven days): 2000
  • Language: 50% English, 40% Afrikaans and 10% Tswana
  • Website: www.puk.ac.za

Radio Mafisa

Broadcast from Rustenburg, Radio Mafisa targets Tswana-speaking listeners aged 18 to 35 with a mix of 60% music and 40% talk.

  • Frequency: 93.4 FM
  • Broadcast area: Rustenburg, Brits, Hartebeespoort, Magaliesburg, Swartruggens, Ventersdorp and Ga-Rankuwa
  • Audience (past seven days): 100000
  • Language: English, Tswana, Sotho and Afrikaans
  • Website: www.radiomafisa.co.za

Vaaltar Community Radio

Broadcast from Taung, Vaaltar Community Radio targets Tswana-speaking listeners aged 16 to 39 with a mix of 40% music and 60% talk.

  • Frequency: 93.6 FM
  • Broadcast area: Taung, Vryburg, Schweizer-Reneke, Bloemhof, Christiana and Warrenton
  • Audience (past seven days): 132000
  • Language: English, Tswana and Sotho
  • Website: www.vaaltarfm.co.za

More North West community stations:

Northern Cape

Radio Riverside

Broadcast from Upington, Radio Riverside targets Xhosa-, Setswana-, English- and Afrikaans-speaking listeners aged 18 to 35, with programming made up of 60% talk and 40% music.

  • Frequency: 98.2 FM
  • Broadcast area: Upington, Groblershoop, Kakamas, Postmasburg, Kenhardt and Marydale
  • Audience (past seven days): 69000
  • Language: Xhosa, Setswana, English and Afrikaans
  • Website: www.radio- riverside.co.za

Western Cape

Bush Radio 89.5 FM

Bush Radio offers programming focusing on community issues, news, interviews and drama, made up of 40% music and 60% talk.

  • Frequency: 89.5 FM
  • Broadcast area: Mitchells Plain, Cape Flats
  • Audience (past seven days): 48000
  • Language: English, Afrikaans and Xhosa
  • Website: www.bushradio.co.za

Fine Music Radio 101.3 FM

The station broadcasts from Cape Town, targeting discerning listeners over 35 with a taste for fine art, jazz and classical music. Programming is multicultural and made up of 10% talk and 90% music.

  • Frequency: 101.3 FM
  • Broadcast area: Greater Cape Town, Goodwood, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Simonstown and Durbanville
  • Audience (past seven days): 29000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.fmr.co.za

Radio Namakwaland

Broadcasting from Vredendal, Radio Namakwaland is a Christian station targeting listeners over 25, with programming reflecting the culture of Namaqualand and made up of 60% talk and 40% music, including features such as health, agriculture, crime, traffic and weather.

  • Frequency: 93.4 FM
  • Broadcast area: Nuwerus, Bitterfontein, Vanrhynsdorp, Nieuwoudtville, Klawer, Citrusdal, Graafwater, Elands Bay Strandfontein, Lutzville, Lamberts Bay, Clanwilliam, Vredenburg and Saldanha
  • Audience (past seven days): 37000
  • Language: Afrikaans and English
  • Website: /www.radionamakwaland.rsa.nu

Radio Tygerberg Radio Tygerberg is a Christian station broadcasting from Belville and targeting listeners aged 16 to 49, with programming made up of talk and music in equal measure.

  • Frequency: 104 FM
  • Broadcast area: Greater Cape Town, Goodwood, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Simons Town and Durbanville
  • Audience (past seven days): 275000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.104fm.org.za

Voice of the Cape

VOC broadcasts from the Gardens in Cape Town, targeting Muslim listeners aged 25 and over. Programming reflects the multi-ethnic Muslim community and is made up of 70% talk and 30% music.

  • Frequency: 95.8 FM, 100.4 FM, 90.7FM, and 90.9 FM
  • Broadcast area: Greater Cape Town, Goodwood, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Simons Town, Durbanville, Worcester, Malmesbury, Paarl, Wellington and Ceres
  • Audience (past seven days): 208000
  • Language: English
  • Website: www.vocfm.co.za

More Western Cape community radio stations:

Listenership statistics supplied by the South African Advertising Research Foundation.

Reviewed: 1 June 2012

SAinfo reporter

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