89.5 FM - Africa's pioneering community radio station
Bush Radio defined as its mission: “to ensure that communities who have been denied access to resources take part in producing ethical, creative and responsible radio that encourages them to communicate with each other, to take part in decisions that affect their lives, and to celebrate their own cultures. Through such radio, communities will affirm their own dignity and identity, and promote social responsibility and critical thinking”.
The radio started broadcasting illegally in 1992 and under license in 1994. It broadcasts in three local languages, Xhosa, Afrikaans and English, with half of the programmers being women. Its activities are: broadcasting, upliftment projects (on-air programs are linked with off-air activities), scholarship for journalism students and media training programs, and human potential development. Their coverage is of 86.000 people.
The project Empowering Local Radios with ICTs conducted a research together with local radio stations to identify main issues of local public concern in the Bush Radio’s coverage area:
- Poor access to public health services
- High prevalence rate of HIV and TB
- Lack of health education
- Lack of education with regard to food supply, garden projects, fundings
- Lack of motivation scheme for farmers
- Inflation on food prices
- Lack of the required skills for employment
- Unavailability of jobs, especially permanent and decent work
- Corruption in the employment industry
This project will build on UNESCO-funded training to produce radio documentaries on women in the fields of science and engineering.
Watch a documentary on Bush Radio called Partial Eclipse by Richard Wicksteed in 1993. It features the illegal broadcast and the police raid on the station:
“We need to tell our community that we are still here and we are still fighting”, declares Isherene Siebritz, while describing the role of Bush radio in promoting women’s rights. Find below an audio highlighting eight exciting stories of women of different ages and backgrounds who came together on Bush Radio to make a difference in the lives of their community members (Audio 1). Listen also to an audio piece produced by Bush Radio about "Why people listen to radio" (Audio 2):