Hon Deputy Chairperson, I just want to correct this notion that MDDA and Icasa do not care about the people of this country. That is not true. I did acknowledge that we have capacity issues within the entities. However, to say they really do not care that is not fair, hon member.
Of course we tried to introduce measures that look into capacitating the stations themselves because even without them getting funding from government, they must learn to generate revenue. Part of that talks to capacitating them with marketing skills and giving them entrepreneurial skills on how to drive the broadcasting portfolio that they are involved in.
We have also taken it into consideration to engage with the communities around those community radio stations, to say because in most cases Deputy Chairperson, I go and apply for a licence for a community radio station, by the time I get into a fight with the board members, I take everything as if the licence belongs to me.
For the communities in certain areas, do not understand what community means that that radio station, that licence belongs to them and therefore they are supposed to be providing oversight and support to the radio station.
So, we find that in other areas, there will be a station manager that runs with the trend because I applied for a licence. To address that we said let us have an integrated workshop of all the stakeholders and the SA Revenue Service, Sars, included in terms of looking into the tax issues. We had MDDA on board, Icasa and Sentech to say: Radio stations, this is what we expect from yourselves and this is how you are going to come on board, including developing a community broadcasting support strategy to say who is it that we fund as government because we cannot fund all the entities even if they are able to make their own money. For we have others that are not paying Sentech as I am talking to you that is the signal distributor, but they can afford because they are making lots of money when we trace the books.
What we are saying, everybody that is licensed and getting paid to ensure that there is effective communication to our communities must play their own part, including the volunteers in the community radio stations, the print papers and the communities
themselves. We again commit and I am committing Minister Jackson here, the MDDA is under Minister Jackson. I am committing him here because I know we have had a meeting to say let us bring all the stakeholders together. Let us engage the National Community Radio Forum, NCRF, and find ways of empowering those that have gaps and we try as government to say together how do we then make sure that our people get the relevant information through the platforms that we establish. Thank you, Deputy Chairperson.