Market research

The Umgungundlovu (Pietermaritzburg) region is a pre-dominantly isiZulu speaking area shares 81% of the total population. It is partly influenced by English speaking 16% of the population and Afrikaans 1 %.Other official African languages ,such as isiXhosa,seSotho and Indian languages share the remaining 2 % of the population.The total population of this area ranges between 1 million to 1. 5 million people.

Most black inhabitants of the area are still glued to their cultural activities and working for the government structures and industries surrounding the city of Pietermaritzburg. There are White commercial farmers in the area that offers cheap labour employment to some of the communities. Tourism plays a major role in the job creation in these areas cause of the availability of a heritage and the fact that the Pietermariztburg city is a capital city of the KwaZulu Natal Province with a provincial legislature and the Premier's office.

Due to tropical climate, the area has grassland vegetation, which enhances the natural beauty of the area and makes it so unique. Umgungundlovu Community Radio is next to a belt of Duzi river of Duzi Canoe Marathon fame, that is used for surfing by tourists which is a common sporting for the locals and the foreigners .This station is also next to Pietermaritzburg,the city where the famous annual international Comrades Marathon start or finish.
The Roya Agricultural Show.The Midmar dam supplies community projects with irrigation opportunities.

Some areas are challenged by illiteracy rate that hinders development of communities. Pietermariztburg area is a peri-urban area; hence literacy rate is expectedly low. This is a serious setback to development and improving the social welfare of these rural communities.

There is partly a percentage of the people in the area who cannot read or write and the only way they can receive the information is through listening to a radio. Unfortunately as this group fall under LSM 1 to 4 the majority of them do not own television set at all. That leaves this group with radio as the only medium to rely on for current information, educational programmes, economic and development news, etc. These are challenges facing Umgungundlovu Community Radio.

Few big commercial and public radio stations do have frequency in this area, but they are focused on developed communities as most of their revenues are generated by corporate advertising which is bent on reaching their target markets and increasing their sales revenue. As a community based radio station we are here to bridge the gap.

It is a proven fact that HIV-AIDS pandemic is rife in KwaZulu Natal. It spreads like wild fire due lack of adequate facilities such as preventative information, a culture that denounce the discussion of sex in the families, polygamy, poverty, and lack of information on constitutional rights.

As a community radio, the station has identified gaps in community that shall be addressed. Emphasis will be on health, housing, environmental awareness, cultural awareness, education, politics and all community issues related to alleviating poverty and violence. In the past violence was rife in these areas as a result of political intolerance. Although violence is currently on the decline, there is still a lot of groundwork to be covered before people can fully comprehend what politics is all about. The radio can play a huge role in educating communities about political difference and tolerance. Radio as a medium of communication is an excellent tool to tackle socio-economic imbalances and is an accessible voice to everyone.

Unemployment is estimated at 35% in the Umgungundlovu (Pietermariztburg) region. Structural unemployment and seasonal unemployment are dominant factors in the area. There is a huge potential for job creation and self development provided people are equipped with self-sustaining skills to create job for them. Community based projects have become the order of the day in an economy that has been growing at less than 3% for the past ten years. A community radio station has a critical role to play in such instances. Services such as clean water, roads, post office, library service, electricity supply, and transport are paramount to community development. Lack of these facilities in some places lead to diseases such as cholera due to unhygienic living conditions. Radio is a voice that can raise these issues effectively to everyone's attention.

Most of the stations covering this area are commercial driven. They do not have programmes that target the plight of this area specifically. Our programmes as Umgungundlovu Community Radio station are driven towards mobilisation of society towards a common purpose of creating a society that is self reliant and self confident, empowered and capacitated, informed and knowledgeable, dignified and aware of its rights, united towards a common purpose of sharing ideas, skills, and knowledge.

Products and Services
The station offers the following programmes:
  • News ,Weather and Sports
  • Music
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Children and Youth
  • Women
  • Rural Development
  • Crime prevention
  • Health
  • Functions of Government
  • People with disability
  • Drama
  • Phone-in requests and Postcard dedications
  • Educational
  • Factual
  • Entrepreneurship Development
  • Religious
  • Environment
  • Social issues
  • Arts and Culture
  • Views
  • Politics
  • Labour
  • Community announcements
  • Advertising