Alfred Nzo Community Radio station manager, Kebie Moshoeshoe spoke on how a barely a year old station was in crippling debt, which led to being switched off by Sentech. This had dire consequences, and as a result there could not apply for funding at the Media Development and Diversity Agency as were found to be non-compliant.
Moshoeshoe said he managed to turn around the now 11 year old station by implementing new strategies and creating a paper trail. Moshoeshoe urged community radio stations to be run as businesses like most companies, “company registration, policy compliance, filing tax returns are crucial. If all documents are in place it’s an added advantage to tap into government funding”, said Moshoeshoe.
Alfred Nzo prides itself in being the academy of excellence, brand positioning and quality content. It is vital to understand and be clear about your station’s mandate, hence he says “it is important to be guided and be informed by the community”. said Moshoeshoe.
Moshoeshoe said community stations cannot avoid interference from governance that creates challenging policies and labor law requirements. Alfred Nzo centres the success of station around the staff adding that, “In order to build a sustainable station, we prioritized the staff”.
The Alfred Nzo community also radio holds annual awards to celebrate the station’s milestones as well its members and contributors.
Moshoeshoe highlighted that challenges for community radio stations incude staff turnover, creating sustainability, geographical landscapes and lack of resources. Hence, “fundraising models to assist the stations are very important, we are no longer asking for donations but for strategic partnerships”, said Moshoeshoe.
Moshoeshoe believes that just like soccer teams, community radio staff should be “bought” by established broadcasters as community radio stations are the first to invest in unknown presenters’ and producers’ raw talents.
Moshoeshoe says that also Alfred Nzo Community Radio’s most revenue is generated from outside broadcasts; they have their sights set on buying an Outside Broadcasting (OB) van.
(Edited by Simbarashe Honde)