About Us

Community Media Trust creates mass media and implements in-person communication programmes that change lives.

COMMUNITY MEDIA TRUST IS A NOT-FOR-PROFIT COMPANY BASED IN SOUTH AFRICA.

We have a 25-year track record of creating innovative mass media campaigns and implementing effective in-person behaviour change programmes.

Our work focuses on promoting individual human rights and thriving communities.

Our adaptive social and behaviour change communications strategies work across multiple contexts. From broadcast and out-of-home media to community change agents, our delivery mechanisms are always fit for purpose. 

We don’t believe that one size can fit all.

Our Story

Community Media Trust was established during a time in South Africa when antiretroviral therapy was not yet accessible in the public sector. Activism played a crucial role in our work, which involved documenting the Treatment Action Campaign’s efforts to make ARVs available in the public sector. 

Our treatment literacy approach equipped individuals with accurate and scientific information about HIV/AIDS, enabling them to make informed decisions about testing, starting on treatment, advocating to have their CD4 count and viral load checked, and using preventive measures such as condoms and access to post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) within 72 hours if exposed to HIV.

Our team created a range of treatment literacy materials such as DVDs and manuals in various languages to cover all the crucial topics regarding HIV. These resources were intended for training purposes and could also be played on TVs in clinics and other public areas. Additionally, we established a treatment literacy training programme to educate and empower community-based organisations and home-based carers on this subject matter. 

Our teams of Treatment Literacy Practitioners were deployed to public sector facilities to conduct education and awareness sessions in waiting rooms. They acted as patient advocates, helping people access the treatment protocols they were entitled to, taking into account the many changes in protocols as treatment guidelines were revised. Many of our initial staff members were living with HIV and were activists in their communities, exposed to the TAC and the treatment literacy approach. 

From 2008, our community teams focused heavily on HIV prevention, implementing awareness events, door-to-door campaigns and community mobilisation to encourage individuals and communities to test and know their HIV status, supporting those who tested positive to access care, and motivating those who tested negative to remain so.

Our Coach Mpilo programme has brought us a full circle to those early treatment literacy days; we now employ 88 people living with HIV to provide coaching, encouragement and support to people newly diagnosed with HIV, and those who are struggling with adherence.

Community Media Trust’s flagship health brand Siyayinqoba is well-recognised and trusted in communities. It is under this banner that our community-based programmes are rolled out, and synergies between in-person communication and mass media programmes are harnessed.

Community Media Trust has expanded to include a comprehensive range of topics beyond HIV, including nutrition, maternal and child health, breastfeeding, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy, and Covid vaccinations. For the last 25 years, we have demonstrated our ability to create mass media for our clients and partners across this spectrum by executing campaigns and advocacy strategies, as well as implementing behaviour change programmes that involve in-person communication in communities.

Community Media Trust has also produced three award-winning prime-time drama series telling unique South African stories which resonate with audiences and represent our communities.

We are a Level 2 B-BBEE compliant company and take pride in upskilling and training young black media professionals and community-based facilitators. In addition, Community Media Trust enjoys Section 18A Public Benefit Organisation status, which allows contributions to the organisation to be tax-deductible.

We have partnered with non-profit organisations, government agencies, and investors with a social conscience to bring to life hundreds of campaigns that have reached millions of people.

Our Team

We are passionate about the impact of our work on the audiences we reach and the communities we serve. Our team of media creatives, consisting of producers and directors across TV and radio, graphic designers, copy and scriptwriters, and social media experts, work together to handle all aspects of media production in-house. 

We provide end-to-end services from brand and message development to producing high-quality assets for TV, radio, digital, and outdoor media.

Our community-based teams engage with individuals and communities to effect change. Their work is guided by holistic, evidence-based strategies that take socioeconomic realities and structural issues into account. 

OUr Board of directors

Allen Carelse - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
ALLEN CARELSE

A Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of experience in a broad range of finance functions, Allen has held senior financial roles at multinational firms. 

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He is also a passionate entrepreneur involved in several business ventures and a partner at an accounting practice that offers outsourced accounting services to businesses of all sizes.

Anine Pheiffer - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
ANINE PHEIFFER

Anine is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of experience across various business functions. 

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Her previous director roles include the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, Chairperson of the Astron Energy Development Fund, and she also served as an Executive Director at Astron Energy. Anine currently serves on the boards of Mizpah Foundation and Woman Zone.

Deena Bosch - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
DEENA BOSCH

Deena does freelance work. During 2022 she was contracted by Black Sash as a Community Based Monitoring Coordinator. 

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Deena serves on the boards of Ditikeni Investment Company Limited and is a trustee of the board of Social Change Assistance Trust. She is also a coordinating committee member for Reclaim the City.

DR Funeka Bango - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
DR FUNEKA BANGO

A medical doctor with extensive experience in treating and managing infectious diseases, Funeka is currently working towards a PhD in Health Economics, focusing on public health interventions. 

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She is highly passionate about equity in access to healthcare. In 2012 she was listed as one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in recognition of her contributions towards the fight against HIV.

Lucilla Blankenberg - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
LUCILLA BLANKENBERG

An award-winning director and producer, Lucilla is one of Community Media Trust’s CEOs with more than two decades of experience working with the organisation. 

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She holds a BA in Communications from UNISA and leads the organisation’s creative teams.

Moss Mothibe - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
MOSS MOTHIBE

Moss is an experienced Legal Advisor with a career spanning over 22 years. He has over 10 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry.

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He has advised companies on various legal matters including regulatory compliance, retail and commercial. Moss was admitted as an Attorney in 2000 and holds an LLB Degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and a B Proc Degree from the University of North West.

Dr Thandi Wessels - Board of Directors - Community Media Trust
DR THANDI WESSELS

Thandi is a paediatrician with more than 20 years of experience in the public health sector. She is currently the district paediatrician at Tygerberg Hospital. 

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Her work centres around child rights and advocacy, the early-life course, and adolescent health. She is passionate about health system strengthening to decrease preventable deaths for newborns and children and enjoys teaching and training health practitioners.

Meet The Team

Lucilla Blankenberg - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Lucilla Blankenberg

CEO

Lucilla spearheads Community Media Trust’s creative campaigns. She oversees all aspects of development, production, post-production, and delivery of products. She is also responsible for good governance. 

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Her accolades include a SAFTA (South African Film and Television Award) for best directing and best TV Comedy, alongside Laddie Bosch, for The Riviera, and an award for Best TV Series at the Zanzibar International Film Festival in 2018 for the drama series JAB, which she directed, produced and created.

A Country For My Daughter, which Lucilla directed, received an award for Best Documentary at the 4th Gender and Media Awards in 2010. She has also worked as a director, editor and/or producer on several documentaries and films.

Lucilla headed up Community Media Trust’s involvement in the highly successful Covid awareness and vaccine confidence campaign, Zwakala. She also oversaw the writing of the second season of The Riviera in 2022.

Debbie Van Zyl - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Debbie Van Zyl

CEO

Debbie is a public health expert with 15 years of experience in HIV programming. She oversees Community Media Trust’s outreach and interpersonal communication projects, and leads the fundraising, administrative and governance aspects of operations.

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Debbie holds a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Science.

Her experience and ability to lead programme and operational staff on the administrative and governance requirements of PEPFAR grants has attracted significant funding, resulting in the scaling up of the organisation’s programmes across multiple geographic sites.

Debbie’s hands-on approach includes fundraising and donor liaison, as well as adapting evidence-based HIV programming to suit the South African context.

She also contributes her public health and epidemiological skills to the communications campaigns developed by Community Media Trust.

Laddie Bosch - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Laddie Bosch

Post Production Manager

Laddie is one of the founding members of Community Media Trust. Laddie has worked on all the organisation’s award-winning dramas and documentaries, its health campaigns and its long-running public television productions.

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He has more than 25 years of media production and editing experience. Laddie co-directed and edited The Riviera, a comedy television series, and won Best Director and Best TV Comedy at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTA) in 2021. He is particularly good at focus group testing and getting people to speak about their ideas.

Carmelita Petersen - Our Team - Community Media Trust
CARMELITA PETERSEN

HR Manager

With more than 26 years of experience in the non‐profit sector, Carmelita ensures our team's compliance with South African labour laws and donor requirements.

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Carmelita also oversees staff relations and staff growth and development.

Jane Dearman - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Jane Dearman

Finance Manager

Jane is a qualified chartered accountant. She joined Community Media Trust 10 years ago and plays a crucial role in ensuring the financial health and sustainability of our NPO. 

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She enjoys working for an organisation that uplifts and empowers people in South Africa

Shelly Scheepers - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Shelley Scheepers

Compliance Manager

Shelley Scheepers is a compliance manager with six years of dedicated experience. Her expertise lies in donor compliance and reporting. 

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Her administration skills ensure the smooth running of the Community Media Trust office and a safe environment for all employees. Her attention to detail ensures all areas of company compliance are upheld on a daily basis.

Jonathan Cockburn - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Jonathan Cockburn

Outreach Programmes Director

Jonathan brings more than a decade of experience managing donor awards, leading impactful community-based programmes and mentoring project managers. 

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He is a skilled public health professional with a Masters in Public Health (cum laude), and 18 years of experience in education in South Africa.

Linnelle Smith - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Linelle Smith

Media Programmes Director

Linelle holds a national diploma in public relations and oversees media campaigns, manages budgets and donor/client relationships. 

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She is responsible for allocating resources effectively, monitoring expenses, and ensuring media campaigns stay within budget. Her skills in stakeholder communication and media management are pivotal for the team's success.

Deliwe Mangane - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Deliwe Mankgane

DREAMS Programme Manager

Deliwe is an accomplished public health professional with over 15 years of extensive experience in managing donor-funded healthcare programmes.

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She has worked in both healthcare facilities and communities, demonstrating a strong commitment to enhance the well-being of individuals and communities. Deliwe is an expert in project management, monitoring and evaluation, with a Masters degree in Public Health and relevant management certificates.

Snetemba Seyosi - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Sinetemba Seyisi

Coach Programme Project Manager

Sinetemba holds a B-Tech in public relations management and has more than five years of experience working in the NGO space. 

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He manages programme implementation, district-level communications, stakeholder engagement, and media liaison. Sinetemba has been a pioneer in finding cutting edge solutions to barriers on men accessing health care services.

Sibongiseni Nyangiwe - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Sibongiseni Nyangiwe

M&E Manager

Sibongiseni is a monitoring and evaluation professional with more than 10 years’ experience at a national and local government level and within the NGO/NPO sector, providing technical assistance in project management and impact measurement.  

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Sibongiseni works with various data platforms, databases and data software to capture, analyse and manage data.

Babalwa Jaca - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Babalwa Jaca

DREAMS M&E Manager

Babalwa holds a national diploma in safety management and boasts an impressive 13 years of experience in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) field. 

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Her extensive skill set includes proficiently leading and supporting M&E teams, as well as expertly managing the development and implementation of M&E systems. She is highly capable of overseeing routine programme monitoring activities. 

Wendy Khumalo - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Wendy Khumalo

Campaign Manager

Wendy excels in brand development and testing, stakeholder liaison, content, translation, media buying, media house collaboration and campaign implementation. 

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Her expertise is a vital asset to the Community Media Trust team.

Ayanda Soboyisi - Our Team - Community Media Trust
Ayanda Soboyisi

Communications Manager

Ayanda holds a National Diploma in Film and Video Technology and cemented her training in the film industry through interning at various production companies. 

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She has more than five years of experience in the media industry. Ayanda manages Community Media Trust’s social media work and has fulfilled the roles of 3rd and 1st Assistant Director on shoot sets.