‘Alex FM finances in good standing’- board

Alex FM Listeners' Forum's deputy chairperson, Jimmy Masingi says they do not want to fight with the board, but to work with them so that the station is managed properly. Photo: Thabang Kuaho

There was a commotion at what was supposed to be Alex FM’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Central Johannesburg College on 27 January.

Acting on the advice of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa), the board had to change the agenda of the meeting because the status of the gathering did not meet those of an AGM.

Read: #ICYMI: Maimane to deliver Alternative State of the Nation Address in Alex

Senior compliance manager, for Icasa, Amos Hlabioa, said they advised the board not to hold the scheduled AGM because proper procedures had not been followed. “For instance, financial reports of the station were not ready, so there was nothing to report. We spoke to the board and they agreed to hold the AGM at a later date,” Hlabioa said.

He said community participation was important in these issues because that is the only way citizens can give input on how the station must be run.

On the allegation that the board has passed its term, Hlabioa said this differed from station to station. “Normally, the board is supposed to be in office for a year, but that differs with stations.”

Chairperson of the board, Pam Mallela, said during a meeting with community members in June 2016 that it was decided that the current constitution of the station would be reviewed.

She assured residents that the finances of the station were in good shape.

“The station is proud to announce that our finances are sound and this was made possible by our treasurer. We have embarked on various funding models,” Mallela said.

“Our station manager and his team managed to revive business with local shops. This move means that the station receives steady and reliable sources of income to settle some of its outstanding financial obligations, including payment of our hardworking staff regularly and consistently.”

Read: Alex FM does not comply with Icasa regulations

She further assured residents of Alex that the board complied with licensing conditions. “Where we did not comply, a written explanation was submitted to Icasa.”

The Alex FM Listeners’ Forum was not happy with the sudden change of the type of meeting, saying the people attended under the impression that an AGM would take place.

Some of the community members said the forum should leave the board to run the station as they saw fit.

Community member Malcolm Mabitsi said he did not know that an organisation of this kind existed. “I have only heard of the forum on the street. I do not know what it is and what its role is,” Mabitsi said.

He said he was happy with some of the work that was being done at the station. “The station is doing good community work. Some of the programmes empower young people – such good deeds cannot go unnoticed.”

He said the community wants to see the board doing all it could to resolve problems within the station.

Deputy chairperson of the Listeners’ Forum, Jimmy Masingi, said he was disappointed with how the community has turned its back on them.

Read: Wits targets Alex youth

“This is the same community we are trying to help… [and now they are] against us. This forum strives to look after the people of Alex so that they can have a say in the running of the station,” Masingi said.

He said the forum was not at war with the board, but wanted to assist it in running the station properly.

Thabang Kuaho

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