A Board of Directors elected at the Annual General Meetings (AGMs) governs the NCRF. The Board is composed of 10 members, and for the purpose of continuity, 5 members retire each year after serving for a period of 2 years. The Board should be composed of 8 members from the community radio stations (off-air/initiative and broadcasting radio stations) and 2 members from the associate members (support-service organisations) if possible. The NCRF policy is that the Board should be composed of a 50:50 or 60:40 gender ratio.
Provincial Coordination Committees/Hub Stations
At provincial level, the aim is to establish a central Hub office that is owned by the collective of stations through a Provincial Committee in each province. At each Hub there is a Coordinator who works closely with Provincial Coordination 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.
The NCRF has 6 strategic Programme areas that guide its projects. These Programmes are in line with the NCRF’s Vision 2005 strategic plan. Vision 2005 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
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.
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