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Mamelodi community radio station back on air after looting

Inside the Mams radio station which was vandalised and looted. Picture: Supplied

Inside the Mams radio station which was vandalised and looted. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 20, 2021


Pretoria - The Mamelodi community radio station, Mams Radio, on Tuesday returned to the airwaves, after it was muted by rioters and looters last week, who ransacked its studios during the wave of looting which engulfed Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“We are happy to announce that Mams Radio will be back on air from [Tuesday] 20 July 2021 at 06:00AM starting with the breakfast show, broadcasting live from Boston Media House courtesy of Jacaranda FM and Tuks FM,” said Sipho Mpho Motau , the radio station's spokesperson.

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“We apologise for any inconvenience to the community of Mamelodi, stakeholders, and those that rely on Mams Radio as the beacon of information, hope and life style. The station will be broadcasting from 06:00AM until 21:00PM Monday to Sunday until further notice, as we continue to engage with donors to help rebuild our studios.”

Motau has expressed gratitude to people and institutions who have provided support to the community station, after its studios in Mamelodi were vandalised and equipment stolen.

“Mams Radio team would like to thank you for the support, warm messages, and heartwarming donations . We would also like to acknowledge the following stakeholders that have being very supportive to the station: Grootman FM, Titans Cricket Club, Thot Box and NCRF.”

“Should there be any information we will inform you, and for further correspondence kindly liaise with our operations manager. Stay home, sanitise, wear your mask and keep safe.”

In a statement last week, Mams Radio said its broadcasting transmitter, studios and other office equipment were vandalised whilst other things were stolen.

As a result of this, the radio station said it had been unable to broadcast any news and information regarding the community.

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At the time, Motau said they had opened a case with the local police and called on anyone with information regarding the incident to come forward and inform the police.

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) said it was deeply saddened by reports of violence and damage to the country’s broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure, including destruction and vandalism of community radio stations and network towers.

Nadia Bulbulia, executive director of the NAB, said considering how broadcasting played a crucial role in bringing news and information to citizens and communities, particularly in times of crisis and emergencies and the destruction of valuable property would ultimately affect citizens’ ability to safeguard themselves.

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"Community radio stations are a vital communication channel in South Africa’s three-tier broadcasting system. They are heavily dependent on donor funding for survival and the impact of such destruction will be very challenging, if not impossible to overcome.”

African News Agency (ANA)