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HOT 102.7FM helps rebuild community radio station Westside FM after looting spree

Hot 102.7 meets WestSide FM. Picture: Supplied

Hot 102.7 meets WestSide FM. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 23, 2021


The ramifications of the recent looting and vandalism of infrastructure in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal continue to be felt as the country tries to rebuild itself.

Gauteng based radio station HOT 102.7FM is helping the local radio station Westside FM to get back on air after it was destroyed by looters last week.

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Westside FM was one of four community stations that were not spared by the criminal activities that saw structures and equipments worth millions of rands stolen and vandalised by the protesters.

“It was terribly sad to see how our studios were looted and vital broadcast equipment either stolen or destroyed.

“It robbed our community of a voice as we had no means of delivering the programs that are so important to our community,” commented the founder of the station, Goodhope Ledwaba.

The plight of the community radio station then caught the attention of Lloyd Madurai, managing director of HOT 102.7FM.

“As a member of the broader South African radio industry family, we could not just idly sit by as a community station was unable to deliver programming to their listeners,” said Madurai.

He added: “I immediately contacted Carmen Rocha, HOT CARES manager to see what assistance could be given.”

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HOT CARES is a public benefit organisation associated with HOT 102.7FM.

“I wanted to know what Westside FM would need to get back on the air.

“So I made contact with Goodhope Ledwaba to see where we could assist.

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“We’re blessed with the ability to help communities in our area and the priority for us was to get Westside up and running again.

“After all, they’re also part of the greater radio industry family in South Africa,” explains Rocha.

HOT CARES was able to procure much-needed equipment and components to get the station fully operational again.

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“For HOT 102.7FM, it’s an honour to be able to assist our fellow broadcasters and to give back to the community,” says Madurai.

“We love the radio industry, we’re privileged to be able to do what we do and we are blessed with the ability to give back to our friends in need.”

“I’m so happy that we will soon be able to give our community the programming that they have come to expect from Westside,” said Ledwaba.

He continued: “I was despondent after the destruction of our facilities, which were built at a cost of R1.4 million in 2016, but now I am resolute that we will be back soon – stronger than ever.”

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