Photo: Birgitta Silén
A voice for people in poverty
The media situation in South Africa is in many ways one-dimensional and one-sidedly adapted to the market, as well as a lack of alternative sources of information regarding the situation of the poor. Therefore, the Olof Palme International Centre supports the Workers World Media Production's (WWMP) work with alternative public broadcasting aimed at local radio stations and national TV. The programmes address issues that affect daily life for the millions of people living in poverty in the townships. Through collaboration, the trade unions and social movements also receive education in how to produce information through radio, newspapers and the Internet.
WWMP was founded by the three central union organisations in South Africa. The aim was to broaden the media scope in South Africa by giving a voice to the workers and other marginalised groups. Through their local radio initiative, approximately 40 local radio stations were involved with a potential listener audience of around 4.5 million. WWMP also works closely with the trade unions and their members on issues such as organisational development and internal education. Through regional projects, they also work with other African trade unions and educate them in radio production. In larger townships such as Khayelitsha outside of Cape Town and in Alexandra outside of Johannesburg, there are also open centres where people can turn to with questions and receive information and assistance in demanding their rights.
The Olof Palme International Centre supports the WWMP's work in South Africa and the rest of Africa through what is known as core support. WWMP works with increasing the knowledge of rights among workers and people who live in poverty and, in a way, also broadens the South African media scope.
Sida's support for the Olof Palme International Centre's cooperation with WWMP comes to approximately SEK 5.4 million for 2012-2014.
- WWMP has built up and established a network of approximately 40 radio stations with a potential listener audience of around 4.5 million.
- WWMP produces regular programmes for both national TV and radio through an established partnership with South Africa's public channels.
- WWMP has helped ten central union organisations in Africa, south of the Sahara, to establish their own radio production.
- Hundreds of union activists have been educated in 40 different districts in issues surrounding radio production, human rights and political activism.
- Two centres (LAMEC) for education and advice on workers' rights have been opened in the larger townships of Khayelitsha and Alexandra.