ANC: M&G story on newspaper ad cuts ‘mischievous’

A report that top newspapers are being punished for insulting President Jacob Zuma is mischievous, ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said on Friday.

“The allegation is wrong and mischievous. It suggests that government cannot consider austerity measures in relation to media buying,” Kodwa said, adding: “Government has a right cut costs where it can.”

The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that the government intended implementing a plan to “starve” the Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, and City Press of advertising worth millions of rands. 

An unnamed government official was quoted as saying the three newspapers had been sustaining “an anti-ANC and anti-government onslaught” on the “democratic state”.

The newspaper reported that the biggest beneficiary of the switch in advertising would be Independent Newspapers, under the ownership of Iqbal Surve. Kodwa said austerity measures were announced during former finance minister Pravin Gordhan’s term of office, and said the government had undertaken to cut wasteful expenditure and spend less on non-essentials.

“That began long ago. The allegation can’t be made now.” Kodwa said the accusation that the three newspapers were being punished was false. “We are a democracy. We even support those that disagree with us. It is not so that this is because of punishment. Our government will never take such a position,” he said.

“But government has a right to cut costs in terms of value for money, under austerity measures. There is also nothing wrong if government consolidates media buying-power.”

‘Muthambi must defend policy’
In a statement, Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis said that if the allegation was true, it amounted to political and advertising blackmail.

“This is not the first time that government has attempted to blackmail newspapers into reporting favourably on the ANC and its performance in government,” said Davis. 

He demanded that Communications Minister Faith Muthambi confirm or deny the M&G report. “If she does not, she will confirm, once and for all, that her new department is the ‘ministry of propaganda’ we have been warning about,” said Davis. 

“If government is planning to withhold advertising from newspapers on the basis of their reportage, Minister Muthambi must come out and defend the policy.”– Sapa

An actual Black Friday deal

Subscribe for R2/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Sapaxxxx
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Magashule wants court to throw out state’s case against him

Former Free State premier asks the court to declare that the state's case against him contains no evidence that would lead to a successful conviction

Brakes put on foreign truck drivers

New legislation aims to protect local jobs in the transport sector amid questions as to whether SA has enough willing and skilled drivers

Western Cape schools benefit from zero waste project

The initiative provides schools with a toolkit to reduce the waste they send to landfills by recycling more effectively

The Mozambican criminal who escaped from South African prisons, twice

A rhino-poaching suspect, who recently escaped from police custody, has been identified as a criminal who was serving multiple life sentences when he broke out of prison last year
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×