Boost for Alex FM as it secures R50,000 to rebuild and a temporary broadcasting space.
Johannesburg, South Africa (14 July 2021) – South Africa’s oldest community radio station, Alex FM, was one of the many victims of this week’s social unrest. Only a few items were salvaged from the looting, and the broadcaster saw a loss of around R5 million with valuable equipment lost.
The Alexandra-based station was part of the headcount of a number of grassroots media channels not spared during violent plundering in the township on Monday and Tuesday. Westside FM in Kagiso was also broken into and vandalised.
In a bid to assist, Primedia Broadcasting CEO chairperson Geraint Cryws-Williams challenged the broadcasting industry to help rebuild the station. Her call on Tuesday also saw the company pledge R50,000 in support.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, Cryws-Williams confirmed that Primedia would donate equipment and share its technical and engineering skills to help Alex FM restore their studios.
Online radio station CliffCentral also came to Alex FM’s rescue with the offer of a space it could temporarily broadcast from.
This is all very good news for the 27-year-old broadcaster, as station spokesman Kabelo Kehalotswe comments that their losses included studio computers and audio equipment, as well as property damage.
The destruction was condemned by the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF), who called it an act of sheer thuggery.