A pirate radio station operating from the back of a butchery in Mdantsane, outside East London, is growing in popularity – but is now under investigation, writes Xolisa Mgwatyu in the Daily Dispatch.

About two weeks ago, the pirate Mdantsane FM – nicknamed Mdiza FM – went live on the 99.5 frequency and has since hosted a number of talks with local politicians and taxi and youth associations.

The station caused confusion among residents, who were eagerly awaiting the launch of a community radio station with a similar name.

The community station had been granted a licence by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) and was supposed to operate on the 104 frequency.

Mdiza FM station manager and local businessman Siviwe Mahlahla yesterday admitted his station had no licence and was operating “underground” while awaiting Icasa ap- proval .

When the Daily Dispatch visited the station, which operates from an empty room at the back of Mahlahla’s butchery in NU5, equipment was set up on a makeshift table.

Radio DJs and local guests were sitting on plastic stools. The station had no sound-proofing and no doors.

Click here to read the full report, posted on the Daily Dispatch's website.