Midvaal’s new podcast studio set to develop skills, employment and entrepreneurship

Midvaal mayor Peter Teixeira says the municipality will create other studios in the community of Midvaal if there are no budget constraints. | Midvaal Municipality

Midvaal mayor Peter Teixeira says the municipality will create other studios in the community of Midvaal if there are no budget constraints. | Midvaal Municipality

Published Mar 25, 2024


The Midvaal Local Municipality, in the Sedibeng District Municipality, launched its new podcast studio at the Sicelo Library last week as part of the National Library Week.

The podcast studio set-up and equipment were provided by Mzansi Online, which is a project funded by the Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation. The studio will be managed by Midvaal Libraries, from administration and finances to the maintenance of equipment.

According to the municipality’s executive mayor, Peter Teixeira, the podcast studio strives to empower community members, especially young people, in skills development and possible job opportunities, including entrepreneurship.

“The establishment of the podcast studio can serve as a valuable resource for empowering young people, equipping them with skills, fostering creativity, and promoting economic and social development in their communities. We hope that in the long term the studio will lead to employment opportunities for people interested in producing, hosting, technical work and marketing,” he said.

“We envision the studio as a platform for the expression of creativity, community engagement and entrepreneurship, where individuals can monetise their content, attract sponsors, or develop related services such as audio production, or event hosting,” he added.

Teixeira said the studio was of free use strictly for residents, organisations and businesses within the perimeters of Midvaal Municipality; and priority would be given to Midvaal staff members, educational organisations and community members for content creation and dissemination.

“We have adopted a mixed approach, offering both free and paid options depending on our policy and the nature of the project. Any individual accessing the podcast studio for financial gain will be charged according to the council’s approved tariffs,” he said. Podcast studio tariffs still need to be promulgated.

Asked whether they would be licensing the studio as a radio station as part of its long-term goals, Teixeira said: “The possibility of such licensing for the podcast studio would depend on various factors, including government regulations, budgets, community interest and the broadcasting landscape at the time.”

He pointed out that licensing and regulation was expensive. “Radio broadcasting can reach a broader audience compared to podcasts, especially if you secure a good frequency or have an online streaming presence. However, radio broadcasting is subject to strict regulations, including licensing requirements, content guidelines and technical standards, which can be complex and costly to navigate,” he said.

The mayor highlighted that operational costs for maintaining, renting the studio and acquiring licensing, a competitive radio industry and limited flexibility – podcasts are recorded, while radio is live – are among challenges to divert into radio.

The mayor’s office plans to create other podcast studios in the community for mass accessibility of the studio.

“Libraries are embedded in today’s technology, and we have embraced the concept of creating spaces that are 4IR (4th Industrial Revolution) driven, such as podcast studios, gaming rooms, maker spaces and so forth.

“If the budget permits, as we will build new libraries and create new spaces, we will have more podcast studios within our community libraries,” he said.

The Star