Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Southside FM Radio to be granted a frequency soon

Subry Govender I wish to report that we now finally have positive news about the frequency problems we have been encountering ever since our cultural evening at the MTSS Hall in February last year. Following our meeting with Mr Eric Kholwane, chairperperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Communications Committee and Dr Stephen Ncube, chairperson of ICASA, at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban early in February, Southside officials once again held a very successful meeting with Government officials at the same venue on the afternoon of Friday, April 26 2013. The meeting was initiated and convened by Mr Kholwane. In addition to Mr Kholwane and Dr Ncube, the following people, among others, represented state entities: 1. Dr Setuma Mohapi, CEO of Sentech. 2. Mr Patrick Sikhosana, KZN Manager, Sentech. 3. Mr Nkopane Maphiri, MDDA. 4. Mr Lumbulani R and Mr Jabulani Radebe of the Department of Comunications, and 5. Ms Lulama Makhobo, CEO of SABC. The officials present from our side included: 1. Mr Bala Gounder (Chairperson) 2. Mr Subry Govender (Secretary) 3. Ms Keresha Govender (Treasurer) 4. Mr Swaminathan Gounden 5. Mr Logan Naidoo 6. Mr Denis Naidoo 7. Mr Richard Naidoo (Deputy Chairperson). Mrs Sally Padaychie, wife of the late Minister Roy Padaychie, expressed her apologies for not being able to attend. After the introductions and the main factors made by Mr Kholwane and Mr Balan Gounder about our need for a FM frequency in and around the Durban area, the following points emerged: 1. Dr Mohapi, CEO of Sentech, gave an outline of the frequency that would be made available to us with the assistance of the SABC. Dr Mohapi committed himself and gave an assurance that such a frequency would be made available within the shortest time possible, most likely within a month. 2. Ms Makhobo, CEO of SABC, also made a commitment that she would work with Dr Mohapi in providing us with the necessary frequency. 3. Dr Ncube, Chairperson of ICASA, also pledged his full support in the granting of the frequency and said he was looking forward to the launch of Southside FM Radio. 4. The chairperson, Mr Kholwane, observed that this frequency must be ironed out within the shortest time possible. After Mr Kholwane finalised the matter about the frequency, he called upon the officials of the MDDA and the Department of Communications to assist Southside to get off the ground as per their mandates. The officials in question promised to look at our applications and they gave Southside their contact details. Finally, Mr Kholwane broached the subject of sharing the airtime with the SABC's Lotus FM Radio. The manager present indicated that they were prepared to meet Southside within the next two weeks. The meeting ended very successfully on the undertaking that finally Southside would be granted a frequency and all the officials would be invited to our launch. We wish to point out that we would not have reached this positive stage in our struggles to get Southside off the ground without the assistance of Mr Kholwane. His efforts bring to mind what Nelson Mandela had once said about never giving up in the work that we need do. He said: "The greatest glory in living, lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Now that we have been given an assurance of the frequency, we have to undertake the following actions as speedily as possible: 1. Finalisation of studio site and offices. We have been offered premises at the Mount Edgcombe Mariammen Temple, the MTSS, Chatsworth and Effingham. Whatever site we choose will be finalised through a proper and binding agreement. 2. The building of our studio and equipping our office. 3. Recruitment and training of our presenters. 4. Recruitment of our advertising staff. 5. Recruitment of reporters. 6. Compiling a data base of our music. We wish to make an appeal to all those who submitted their CVs to be presenters and for the other positions to please get in touch with the writer without any delay. ( We also wish to appeal to all those donors who had made their pledges but had not finalised their pledges to do so as soon as possible. Our treasurer's contact email is: Now that we will be starting in a few months’ time, we would wish to appeal to all sponsors, donors, supporters and well-wishers to help us in making this long overdue project a huge success by continuing to make their pledges and donations. In the final analysis, we aim to become self-sufficient by generating advertising to meet our costs. We wish to advice that since our successful cultural evening in February last year when donations were made, we did not spend a single cent from the pledges and donations. All work thus far had been carried out by a few hard-working officials because of their commitment to the establishment of a radio station for the descendants of our forefathers and mothers who were brought to South Africa as sugar cane indentured labourers(slaves). ends - Subry Govender