Kingfisher FM celebrates licensing turnaround

PHOTO: Amr Taha/ Unsplash.com

Nelson Mandela Bay Christian radio station Kingfisher FM this week shared with listeners the good news that it has heard from the licensing authority ICASA that it is one of only two of 142 applicants nationwide to have made it into the second phase of the current community radio stations licensing process.

Station manager Michele Lourens told Gateway News that they are thrilled with the massive turnaround from the tough place they found themselves in at the beginning of last year when, after a difficult season at the station they were taken off air because of a licence infringement.

Lourens expressed heartfelt thanks to station listeners and partners whose “incredible support” played a vital role in the long and arduous road back to compliancy. Thousands of signatures of support from listeners, and hundreds of letters of support from local companies, NPOs and NGOs were included among the documents submitted to ICASA in support of its application for a new licence, she said.

After a period of being online only, Kingfisher got back on air a year ago when it was awarded a 45-days temporary licence for Easter programming. Thereafter it successfully applied for a special Covid-19 broadcasting licence that was introduced by ICASA for the pandemic emergency period.

Lourens said she is hopeful that they will submit their application for the second phase of the licensing process by the end of this week and secure their five-year broadcasting licence soon thereafter.

Wouter van der Westhuizen, head of the board thanked the management team for its hard work in putting together “a stellar application” in the first phase of the process and to “the South African Community Radio Organisation, Radio Tygerberg and others who have faithfully journeyed alongside us”.

Meanwhile ICASA announced in a media release this week that following the completion of the licensing of the two applicants who successfully completed the first phase of its licensing process it will initiate another opportunity for community radio stations to to participate. It says it will also offer further workshops across the country to assist applicants to fully understand the compliancy requirements.

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