The station has been granted a 45-day license to provide 2019 Elections broadcasting services to Mitchell’s Plain and the Cape Flats from Wednesday, 10 April to Friday, 24 May.
YOH Radio programme manager, Gavin Arends, says that broadcasts will focus on voter education before the elections, live local coverage of the elections and also updates on post-election developments. Election coverage will make up 60% of the station’s content during this period.
"We have taken on a huge responsibility because it is important, for our democracy, that all citizens feel involved in the national elections. Given our current social, economic and political situation, we believe that — as a locally accessible platform — YOH Radio will encourage meaningful public participation while providing a space for people to debate locally relevant issues, as it pertains to political parties and the elections," Arends says.
According to the station, as a result of the current moratorium on community radio licensing in South Africa, the two community-based organisations have had to become creative to be able to continue to provide this important platform to its growing audiences. Arends says that while YOH Radio has limited access to an FM frequency, the lack of a permanent FM license has not slowed the station down.
"YOH Radio has a growing, active online community that engages us via streaming and also social media. The fact that our numbers keep growing and our audiences actively engage with our locally-driven content is evidence that we are filling a gap in Mitchell’s Plain and the Cape Flats," adds Arends.
The station's digital communications and media manager, Shana Fife, says, "We are already working with a number of media interns to ensure effective local news coverage of the elections."
Ricardo de Reuck, director of the Cape Flats YMCA, adds, "This is another great partnership initiative, especially since it seems that many South Africans have lost faith in the elections and are doubting the power of their vote."
"Through the programming and other activities, we hope to provide our communities with reliable information and fair comment so that people feel more equipped to participate in this very important election," de Reuck adds.
"Our Community Advisory Board will guide our strategy to ensure effective programming during the election broadcast period. Feedback sessions on our programming will help achieve our goal of being inspiring, educational and entertaining," concludes de Reuck.
For more information, visit www.yohradio.radiostream.co.za. You can also follow YOH Radio on Facebook.