The riots and looting that took place earlier this month affected so many businesses and livelihoods, but it also showed South Africa’s true colours of empathy, unity and resilience.
Amongst the victims of destruction were four community radio stations brought to their knees. Alex FM in Alexandra, MAMS Radio in Mamelodi, West Side FM in Kagiso and Intokozo FM, in Durban all suffered catastrophic losses. But once again South African business has come to the rescue.
Park Advertising, which encompasses media agencies The MediaShop and Meta Media, Tirisano Consulting and most recently Lucid Media, has as a Group assisted three of these stations, namely Intokozo FM, MAMS FM, and Westside FM to purchase essential studio equipment and transmitters to enable these stations to get back on air.
Park Advertising’s Group MD Chris Botha says that community radio stations are one of the most essential media cogs in South Africa. “Communities have been torn apart and community radio has the opportunity and ability to bring people together and develop positive narratives. Without community radio, we start to lose the fabric of community.
While we’re pleased to be in a position to assist, we would like to challenge every business and individual in South Africa to support affected communities as a priority because we need to rebuild our faith in each other as much as we need to rebuild our country.”
Dashni Vilakazi, Managing Director at The MediaShop Johannesburg and Kagiso Musi, Managing Director at Meta Media agree. “South Africans have proved time and time again just how incredible we are in coming together when tragedy strikes,” says Kagsio. “But we’d like to see more businesses and private citizens get involved. The smallest gestures can make the biggest difference in someone’s life. Be kinder, donate your time where you can or even just clearing out unwanted clothing can change someone’s life for the better.”
Dashni adds: “South Africa has been through so much in the last 18 months, but the last few weeks have also shown how incredibly quickly we can bounce back, if we work together. Assisting these community radio stations to get back on air has been crucial for our democratic and editorial freedom, but there is still so much more to be done. Let’s show the world our collective mettle by coming together to rebuild South Africa stronger than before.”