The National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), registered as a Section 21 Company not for gain, was formed in 1993 in Orlando, Soweto, in order to lobby for the diversification of the airwaves in South Africa, and to foster a dynamic broadcasting environment in the country through the establishment of community radio stations.
The NCRF has about 120 community radio station projects in its membership, with about 75 of the stations on air and others waiting to be licensed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). Community Radio collectively is now the third largest broadcaster nationally according to SAARF 2004B, with almost 5 million listeners in the most rural areas of our country covering all provinces.
May 2014: community radio covers over 26% of radio audience and a total over over 9.2 million listnership.
South Africa’s community radio sector is well placed to facilitate the information and developmental needs of the poor and working class communities in which they are mostly located. The National Community Radio Forum (NCRF) with 105 members, is the strongest and most representative body in the sector and has consistently represented the interests of it’s’ member stations and the sector, as well as offering opportunities for stations to share their experiences and collaborate. The NCRF charter emphasizes the interdependence of community media and civil society.
To build a vibrant and sustainable Community Media Sector in Southern Africa.
We advocate and lobby on behalf of our members, various stakeholders to advance participatory democracy towards sustainable social development in communities.
A National Executive Committee elected at the National Conference governs the NCRF. The NEC currently is composed of 11 members, and after the constitution was amended during the national Policy Conference in November 2015 the National Executive Committee was changed to the Central Executive Committee we shall include chairpersons of all nine NCRF provinces. The NCRF policy is that the all structures should be composed of a 50:50 or 60:40 gender ratios.
Our work is to build an enabling environment and a coherent sector identity, ensuring continued healthy growth of community radio in South Africa. We do this by:
- setting standards for the sector and monitoring implementation
- providing information and advice to membership
- representing the collective interests of members
- Creating collective content production plans , programmes and promotion of local content .
- creating structures and systems that encourage community radio stations to share experiences, skills, best practice models and resources
- coordinating capacity building in the sector
- lobbying and advocacy, to promote and protect the sector
- Forging strategic alliances and partnerships with key stakeholders to facilitate delivery of services, resources, funding and support to both members and the sector."
At provincial level, the aim is to establish a central office that is owned by the collective of stations through a Provincial Committee in each province. At each there is a Coordinator who works closely with Provincial Executive Committee. The main task of this body is to ensure that there is delivery through usage of local resources and co-ordination of programmes and projects of the NCRF.
|Mank Tsahletsi||Provincial Chairperson||Female|
|Tebello Mosala||Provincial Secretary||Male|
|Garth Demarel||Provincial Chairperson||Male|
|Thabang Pusoyabone||Provincial Secretary||Male|
|Rachel Watson||Provincial Chairperson||Female|
|Mthetheli Wellem||Provincial Secretary||Male|
|Tsholofelo Moepeng||Provincial Chairperson||Male|
|Kealeboga Mooba||Provincial Secretary||Female|
|Modjadji Mphela||Provincial Chairperson||female|
|Mpho Raphahlela||Provincial Secretary||Male|
|Mduduzi Zulu||Provincial Chairperson||Male|
|Carol Kintu||Provincial Secretary||Female|
|Vuyelwa Mdazana||Provincial Chairperson||Female|
|Xola Nozewu||Provincial Secretary||Male|
|Simon Ntsele||Provincial Chairperson||Male|
|Muzi Sibiya||Provincial Secretary||Male|
The NCRF has 7 strategic Programme areas that guide its projects. These Programmes are in line with the NCRF’s Vision 2025 strategic plan. Vision 2025 seeks to put community radio at the centre of development communications in the changing South Africa. The Programmes are:
- Quality Programming
- Sustainability and Income Generation
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Development
- Advocacy and Lobbying
- Eradication of volunteer system and creation of decent jobs
Facilitation of programming networks to encourage stations to produce and share quality programmes with each other. Partnerships are developed with community organisations, government departments and private sector stakeholders to encourage participatory programme-making that should result in relevant programmes that serve the needs of the community. It is through this programme that community radio is positioning itself as a tool for development.
Sustainability and Income Generation
Mechanisms for income generation are developed so that community radio is sustainable financially. The NCRF has set up an investment company that looks after all business interests, and creates income for the programmes of the community radio sector.
Information is power, and the NCRF believes that at all stages the members should be informed of what is happening. Equally important is the ability to communicate our work to all stakeholders who have an interest in the community radio sector. An up-to-date website and a monthly newsletter form part of the communications tools used by the NCRF.
Community radio has a role to play in the skills development of the country. We are proud that over 100 professional journalists and media managers have cut their teeth in the community radio sector. We have partnership with several NGO training service providers who organise and run short courses to capacitate the community radio sector personnel.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Development
The challenge for the community radio sector is that of understanding and better utilising new technologies to meet its objectives. Digital audio recording and editing enhance sound quality, administration softwares improve management, web sites build profile, satellite and Internet technologies make it easier to communicate between different stations and communities. Our satellite audio-sharing project, called SACRIN (South African Community Radio Information Network) has connected South African stations with stations around the world. The new community information centres, such as government Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs), telecentres and digital villages are seeking partnerships with community radio stations to bring information to the doorsteps of all South Africans. The NCRF sees these community ICT projects, and Community Electronic Multimedia projects that combine audio, text, photographs, video and Internet – as the way forward for a sustainable sector.
Advocacy and Lobbying
The challenges and opportunities posed by the rapid evolution of the broadcasting and telecommunications sector require the community radio sector to do research. But research alone does not challenge unpopular policy decisions, so a strong strategy to lobby and advocate for an enabling environment for the community radio sector is important.
Eradication of Volunteer system and creation of decent job opportunities
In recent times the sector have generally used volunteers as presenters and this effort in many instances have achieved a huge success and in other instances it created a very difficult relationships and conditions where others are the biggest losses who have families to look and take care of , and others are biggest winners because they take all.