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ANCWL calls for dismantling of print media oligopolies in South Africa

ANCWL calls for dismantling of print media oligopolies in South Africa

28 October 2016

As an integral part of the ANC, the African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) acknowledges the fact that the ANC has remained resolute on media transformation in terms of ownership and the content to be reflective of the South African democratic dispensation. Facts reflect that after 22yrs of democracy, the print media in South Africa is still dominated by four big players. These companies also dominate the entire value chain of the market, especially the printing, distribution and advertising. They own almost all the mainstream newspapers and community newspapers, most of the consumer magazine titles, some of specialist magazines and online news platforms.

The ANCWL affirms the position of the ANC that South Africans must enjoy the freedom of expression in the context of a diverse media environment that is reflective of their situations and daily experiences. However the ANCWL is still to be convinced that the media sector which is still dominated by those who for many years have been the allies of the apartheid super structure, providing rationale and intellectual support to the apartheid system, South Africans will get objective reporting from these media houses. These allies of apartheid regime will be easily co-opted by the apartheid beneficiaries to advance regime change agenda and undermine the democratic decision of over 62% of voters who in 2014, chose the ANC as political party to lead in South Africa. They will collude with forces of darkness to peddle propaganda against the ANC and its government for the purpose of advancing regime change.

The print media is at the center of the battle of ideas, a contested terrain that reflects the ideological battles and power relations based on race, class and gender in our society needs to be transformed for it to be an unbiased platform. It cannot be allowed to continue being a wholly white owned subjective determiner of the public agenda and opinion. As the integral part of the ANC, the ANCWL without being apologetic will condemn any media house used for subjective criticism of the ANC and its government and will expose any forces of darkness co-opting media into regime change agenda. The ANCWL is not calling for media to be the praise singers of the ANC and its government. It calls for media to produce reliable, accurate and credible information.

The ANCWL appeals to the ANC led Government to provide comprehensive support to encourage ownership, control of, and access to media by historically disadvantaged communities as well as by historically diminished indigenous language and cultural groups. Government must ensure that it assists in developing black owned print media houses of which 50 % of that must be women owned. The ANCWL appeals to the ANC led government from the national to the local level to channel all its advertising to community media and small commercial media which are black owned. The dismantling of white owned print media oligopoly in South Africa is long over due.

Issued by
Meokgo Matuba
Secretary-General of ANCWL

Cde Toko Xasa
ANCWL National Spokesperson
+27 82 652 3131

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