Sunday, March 3, 2013

Southside FM officials hold top-level talks with a Government leader about need for FM frequency

An ICASA official, Mr Dennis Naidoo, Dr Stephen Ncube(chairperson of ICASA), Mr Eric Kholwane(Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications), Mr Logan Naidoo, Mr Richard Naidoo(deputy chairperson of Southside), Mrs Sally Padaychie (wide of the late Minister Roy Padaychie), Ms Keresha Govender and Mr Balan Gounder(chairperson)

By Subry Govender

The initiators of the cultural radio station, Southside FM, are hoping that their need for an FM frequency in and around the Durban area will be resolved soon following talks with a top government leader recently.

This follows their meeting with the chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications, Mr Eric Kholwane, in Durban recently.

The chairman of Southside FM Radio, Mr Balan Gounder, said in a
statement that in addition to Mr Kholwane, the chairperson of ICASA, Dr Stephen Ncube, and one of his officials were also present at the meeting held in the boardroom of a leading beachfront hotel in Durban.

Ms Keresha Govender making a point during the meeting with Mr Kholwane and Dr Ncube. Looking on are Mr Balan Gounder, Mrs Sally Padaychie and Mr Logan Naidoo

The Southside delegation included Mr Logan Naidoo, a former
chairperson of Sentech, Mrs Sally Padaychie, widow of the late
Minister Roy Padaychie, Ms Keresha Govender, Mr Richard Naidoo, Mr Denis Naidoo and former struggle journalist, Mr Subry Govender.

He said the Southside FM Radio delegation had given a detailed history and background of the reasons for the need for the launch of the radio station.

Dr Ncube and Mr Kholwane listening attentively to the inputs by Southside officials.

"We pointed out that while we appreciated the granting of frequencies in the Pietermaritzburg and Port Shepstone regions, our main target market was in and around the Durban region," said Mr Gounder.
"We also pointed out that our ultimate goal was to reach our
prospective listeners in the Johannesburg-Pretoria region, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth-East London, Northern KwaZulu-Natal, and the North and South coast regions.
"We also pointed out that we are descendants of indentured labourers and we make up between 55 to 60 percent of the people of Indian origin in South Africa. We pointed out that we cannot understand why this important section of the South African community cannot be assisted in promoting its cultures, languages, music and traditions through a radio station."

Mr Logan Naidoo, Mr Richard Naidoo and Mrs Sally Padaychie

Mr Gounder said they had made a number of proposals to Mr Kholwane and Dr Ncube about how Southside could be assisted to start broadcasting.

"The two leaders gave us a very patient hearing and promised to help us to start broadcasting," he added.

He said ICASA had made an offer of a medium wave frequency and this was being discussed.
Meanwhile, he said they were also taking up their case with other top-ranking leaders.
One of their supporters, Mr Deva Poonoosamy, who is based in London, has also taken up the issue of Southside's FM frequency struggles.