The role of community media in promoting human rights and fostering socio-economic development must be at the forefront of building sustainable societies.
Speaking at the launch of Eersterus Community Radio station in Gauteng, east of Pretoria, Minister Muthambi said government departments will continue to assist and develop community media.
“Beyond the microphones and transmitters, community radio stations continue to have a substantial and meaningful impact on their host communities.
“We know how important this initiative is in addressing the scourge of drugs crippling our community. We know how our youth in Eersterust will start using the station to their benefit and channelling their efforts for the good and upliftment of this community,” the Minister said.
Minister Muthambi said South Africa’s mainstream broadcasters recruit volunteers from the community radio sector to strengthen their brands.
“Your station is soon going to be entrusted with the responsibility to inform, educate and entertain your listeners. The kind of information, education and entertainment you present to your listeners will be measured by the impact you create in this community.
“Community radio stations also promote a democratic culture by providing people with information on how to access government services and in this way serves to empower members of the community to become more active and participative,” Minister Muthambi said.
One of the community members present at the launch, Reagan Adams, told Vuk’uzenzele that he is grateful that they now have their own radio station.
“The radio station will be used to inform us about things happening in our community. We are grateful that government has brought us our own radio station.”
Community member Rene du Plessis said they have been longing for their own radio station.
“Having a radio station here means a lot to our community. This means we will have a platform to raise our voice.”
She called on other communities who wanted to have their own community radio stations to be patient and give government a chance to make their dreams come true.