Bush Radio, Cape Town – South Africa’s First Community Radio Station


This interview was recorded in 2009 with Brenda Leonard, one of the founders of Bush Radio. When host of TUC Radio Maria Gilardin met Mrs Leonard in May 2009 in San Francisco she was on a US tour of community stations and gave presentations about the iconic, now world famous radio station that came out of the resistance movement against Apartheid.

Denied a license under the old Apartheid regime, Bush Radio went on the air illegally in 1993. Two broadcasters were arrested and the equipment confiscated. After the historic elections of 1994 the first broadcast licenses issued by the Mandela government were specifically for community broadcasters. In August 1995 Bush Radio began licensed broadcasts.

For this broadcast Maria Gilardin asked Brenda, who is now manager of Bush Radio, for an update and she wrote: Currently South Africa has over 250 community radio stations reaching over 9.2 million listeners each day.” (Which means over 170 stations have been added since 2009.) Bush Radio is still a model for community radio and continues to train much of the staff at the new stations.

Produced by: Maria Gilardin, TUC Radio 

TUC Radio
English |
February 12, 2016