We could not compromise on Christian message

ANDRE ROEBERT

THE River Group finds itself not wanted for any assistance in Kowie FM community radio stationas it was suggested by the public thatits core value system wasbeing eroded.

At the Kowie FM AGM it was made clear from the public present that Christian music is not wanted in Port Alfred and that advertisers have expressed that they will only support the radio station should secular music be played.These were the comments from the floor at the AGM.

Once voting proceeded for a new board, it was evident from those present that the existing board was not wanted, and it turned out to be Christians against non-Christians in the vote.

Andre Roebert

However the secular people of Port Alfred believed they had another way of saving the strugglingstation.

It is our hope that the community of Port Alfred rise to the occasion and finance the station over the next year, as all we have tried to do was keep it on air. The only condition was that 50% Christian music be played, as that is our core value system and belief.

We have not felt in any way to jeopardise the well-being of the station and would not like to split the board on any decisions of its future so we have as a team stood down.

There was one board member too many, and none of us were prepared to break up the team that had done so well in getting the station out of monthly debt and reducing its monthly expenses and getting it to a future profitable margin.

To all the 2011 board, you were exceptional – thank you.

We did not want to stand in the way of allowing the station to advance accordingly, at the request of the community and its people’s desire.

It is a sad day for Christianity when you are requested to stop playing what we believe to be the only hope in this crazy world we live in. We cannot compromise for one moment our commitment to the gospel and the cause that we live for. I wish more people had stood with us.

Our only intention has always been to keep Kowie FM broadcasting. But it looks like the tribe has spoken, albeit the minority who were adamant at the AGM to have full control of the station.

If more Christians stood up strongly and took their stand like we did then together we could have said: “We want Christian music”. In a country that claims to be 80% Christian it is sad when the minority have a louder voice and a majority vote.

We graciously withdraw our support and equipment at month end and wish the new directors all of the best for the future.

We will consult legally but if possible, the monies injected into the radio station will be left there to assist without any imminent demand for repayment at this stage but will be off set against future advertising. However our additional new equipment on loan will be withdrawn at month end.

We also have offered a one-to-one loan reduction challenge to the loan account of Robbie Blake and the board. For every rand that Robbie Blake writes off of his loan, we will do the same as a gift to the station.

For all those Christians wishing to have a Christian music station playing in town, please e-mail production@linkfm.co.za as we may be gone for a short while, but will return with your help. We will endeavour every which way to make sure that the majority of the town does get what we believe they want.

Andre Roebert is chief executive of the River Group and former chairman of the Kowie FM board.

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