by Veronica Van Dyk MP – DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Communications
Date: 03 December 2017
Type: Press Statement
In reply to a DA Parliamentary question, Communications Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, revealed that the Department of Communications (DOC) and its entities have only spent a mere R1.3 million on advertising in community media in the 2016/17 financial year.
In fact, it was only some of the DOC’s entities that spent money on advertising. The DOC itself, which had a R11.9 million budget for advertising purposes in 2016/17, did not spend a single cent on advertising in community media.
It is quite clear that Government has forgotten about the essential role community media plays in providing entertainment and education in communities that may not have access to the public broadcaster.
Government should be supporting community media and not stifle their voices. It is community radio stations and newspapers which empower our people and bring them to the centre of participating in the national debate.
Community radio is the most affordable and accessible communication technology available to many South Africans in rural communities. It is an essential tool to assist in carrying the country forward.
Without advertising, community media will fail to make revenue and stay afloat – forcing them to close shop which only perpetuates the lack of diversity in voices and ideas in community media.
The DA believes that Government should adequately and sustainably fund community media. Underfunding or lack of funds will have a severe impact on the quality of programming and the development and retaining of skills.
Veronica Van Dyk MP
DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Communications
083 236 2152