5fm recently posted a video on Facebook showing how they released a massive amount of red balloons during a concert but the response was not what they expected.


We’re all about good things… and releasing balloons into the atmosphere is just not that. Luckily South Africa know the difference and are voicing their opinions against the radio broadcaster.

5fm uploaded the video to showcase “an amazing” moment during a concert on Heritage day but the backlash has been nothing short of amazing. Apparently South Africans care more about the environment than video views.

In the #CTliveLoud video uploaded to the broadcasters page, thousands of red balloons can be seen being released into the atmosphere… and just to add effect, they showcase the harmful environmental act in slow motion.

We’re not sure what the community manger expected when posting the video but are so proud of South African’s from across the board, voicing their opinions.

Ballonsblow.org is a website dedicated to educating the world about releasing balloons into the atmosphere and it seems that the entire broadcasting group need a recap.

All released balloons, including those falsely marketed as “biodegradable latex,” return to Earth as ugly litter.

Balloons don’t just litter the land… they also fall into the ocean and on beaches. Birds and animals eat the balloons as they do plastic and then they either suffocate to death or if the balloon reach their stomachs, they starve to death as they believe they are full.

Balloons are also a waste of Helium, a finite resource. Balloons can travel thousands of kilometres and pollute the most remote and pristine places.


Social media has been abuzz with people commentating and sharing the video.

Sean Oakes was one of the first to comment, “How careless of you 5fm !!!!! I hope that the balloons were biodegradable at the very least !!!”

Claire Davidson added, “5FM I was extremely disappointed to see the IRRESPONSIBLE behavior of your radio station on Saturday at 5FM Cape Town Live Loud with the supplying of and ENCOURAGING of people to let go of balloons into the air -these plastic balloons will now land in oceans, rivers, parks etc and proceed to litter and choke and KILL innocent animals (who will die in the most slow and painful way) – all for the sake of a *magical* moment for Instagram? You should be ASHAMED for yourselves for promoting such irresponsible, selfish and un-environmentally sound practices. I WILL be reporting you to relevant environmental authorities on this matter – disgusted. You have the power to make a difference and promote responsible environmental practices – this was a sad, sad, sad experience to see.”

Dagny Warmerdam You guys need to activate a public cleanup to try and redeem yourselves for such shortsighted actions. Perhaps a count of one bag of rubbish for every balloon would be a start!

“Hey guys, firstly we want to thank you for being a radio station that supports fresh local music & supports the industry by doing rad events like these. But as a fan of the station & as someone who owes a lot of my success to the radio play you guys have afforded us, not only does this act do damage to the environment but it damages the reputation of the station. No one wins.”

“Not only that, but you guys have a lot of influence with the youth so when a young person sees this kind of reckless behaviour you’re reinforcing the idea in a lot of young people’s minds that littering is ok, and that can be seriously problematic in the long run. I along with most other people on this thread would really like to see an apology of some sort for this act. This could be an opportunity to flip some bad press into a chance to raise awareness about the environment. Lekka” celebrities, The Kiffness added.

“So dissapointed that a radiostation with so much public attention and followers would allow pollution on this level. Is instant gratification so important that the habitat of so many animals can be so polluted? While they seem pretty and fun balloons actually have major environmental implications for so many marine animals including our endangered African penguin! Really not ok.” Michelle Lee stated

5fm have not yet responded to any of the comments but did release a statement 5 days after all the back-lash on their social media page:

“The balloon release on Saturday (24 Sept) at Cape Town Live Loud was a spur of the moment decision and was not coordinated/planned. We acknowledge that this is no excuse as we have potentially damaged our environment and we are EXTREMELY sorry to have been so silly.”

“We are making it our mission to educate our listening community (and our crazy 5FM family) on issues to do with littering, pollution AND of course, environmentally unfriendly balloon releases. Watch our socials and tune in on-air for how we are gonna be making this up to you and our oceans.”

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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