Nov 2022 2nd Edition

Community radio stations benefit from MDDA

Written by More Matshediso

The community of Ngcobo in the Chris Hani District of the Eastern Cape finally has its own community radio station that serves as an information platform and adds value to residents’ lives. Barberton FM Presenter Andiswa Zulu during the afternoon drive show. (Supplied by Barberton FM)

Engcobo FM 96.6 MHz recently received state-of-the-art broadcast studios from the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele. The studios were sponsored by the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).

Speaking at the launch, Minister Gungubele said the residents of Ngcobo will now be able to consume news from their own locality, in the language of their choice and about people they know.

“If people believe in their communities, they are able to work together, develop themselves and be prosperous. To do all of this, they need information and Engcobo FM is the source that can release this positive energy needed to lift Ngcobo to greater heights,” said the Minister.

According to Station Manager Lusindiso Tantsi, the radio station will not only benefit Ngcobo, but exists to link all the Chris Hani District communities.

“This radio station was started by a community group in 2017, but could not take it any further [due to various challenges]. They then approached me to assist them with getting a licence from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and to set the business up, and I was happy to be involved,” says Tantsi.

After numerous delays, the radio station finally went on air officially in July 2022. It broadcasts 95% in isiXhosa and 5% in English.

Because the station is still new, Tantsi says the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa, which does research into radio stations’ listenership, has not yet included Engcobo FM in the radio audience measurement survey. However, the community radio station caters for listeners of all ages and has already gained over 8 000 followers on Facebook.

“We have 18 employees at the station so far. Our radio station is run professionally and will ensure that our clients from the private sector and government receive the best service,” he says.

The MDDA also unveiled new studios at the Barberton Community Radio 104.1 in Mpumalanga, Aganang FM 90.0 in Potchefstroom in the North West, and Kasie FM 97.1 in Katlehong in Gauteng.

For more information about MDDA, visit or WhatsApp 063 509 4934, Facebook: MDDA, Twitter: @MDDA_Media, or Instagram: @MDDA_Media

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