Community Media Trust: giving a voice to people living with HIV



Community  Trust (CMT) is a not for profit company registered in terms of Section 21 of the Companies Act and the Non-Profit Organisations Act. CMT has produced  public health  material since 1998 under the Siyayinqoba ! brand.  has twice cited CMT as an example of best practice.

Siyayinqoba Beat It! provides reliable, scientifically based information to people living with HIV/AIDS, our partners, family, friends, care-givers and health workers. The project is intended to enable our audiences, whatever their status, to respond positively to the impact of the epidemic in their lives. Siyayinqoba Beat It! uses the television and video medium to overcome the language and literacy barriers to understanding HIV/AIDS information.

On October, 3, 2008, Voice of America, one of the world’s most respected broadcasters, aired a radio segment about Siyayinqoba Beat It! that included interviews with CMT director, Jack Lewis, and the series’ producer, Yvette Kruger. The radio segment looked at the history of the broadcast series, the current format, the inclusion of the HIV postive support group, the community journalists and all the various issues covered by the show that educate and inform those infected by HIV – their families, partners, friends, colleagues and healthcare workers.


1. The Siyayinqoba Beat It! television magazine program promotes positive living, treatment access and prevention of HIV infection both for the uninfected and people living with HIV. Four series’ have been produced in co-production with SABC Education and SABC 1 since 1994. Three series were produced between 1999 and 2002 for eTV. We attained audience ratings (AR’s) of up to 3.8 (more than 730 000 viewers) per show in our last season. Average weekly viewership over two shows is 820 000. The show’s format centers around documentary inserts – created by Community Journalists – followed by discussion of the issues amongst members of an in-studio support group of people living with HIV.

2.The Siyayinqoba Beat It! Outreach Project employs 70 Treatment Literacy and Prevention Practitioners in 5 provinces, (Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Free State, Eastern Cape and Western Cape) to present Siyayinqoba Beat It! content in clinics, hospitals, schools and any other organization where we assist in establishing treatment and prevention literacy programmes. The Outreach programme reached over 500 000 people in 2007.

3. Siyayinqoba Beat It! Treatment Literacy series is a 21 part non-broadcast audio visual series providing detailed treatment literacy information for training of peer educators, health workers, community health workers working in community organization, business and government. The series is available in English, isiXhosa, isiZulu and Portuguese for Mozambique. We are currently producing a seSotho edition.

4. Siyayinqoba Beat It! archive is the largest audio visual archive on the history of HIV/AIDS and the health in South Africa with over 1500 hours of material. Our archive project is making this material available on our web site.