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as it is part of our constitutional mandate and government

providers in protecting consumers and children against sexual

agenda. Further, we believe that there is room for the media

content, hate speech and racism contained in user-generated

and government to engage around a common vision for South

content. It must be stressed that the bill is not aimed at gagging

Africa and the role that media plays within this.

the internet in the country.

We also believe that there is room for deeper and more

Meanwhile, work is also at an advanced stage regarding

meaningful coverage of our exciting developmental journey.

the finalisation of the broadcasting policy review process.

In addition, more media should publish and air material in

Among other things, the policy aims to create a level playing

local and African languages to reach a broader readership and

field for emerging audio-visual media services. It also aims to

listenership. But coverage should never be at the expense of

protect and empower consumers, in particular, to guarantee

the media’s role as a watchdog.

key societal values for the protection of minors and human

To support the transformation of the sector, the Department of Trade and Industry in April gazetted the Marketing, Advertising and Communications (MAC) Sector B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice. Among other things the codes aim to increase black ownership to 45 percent by the end of March 2018. They also stipulate

dignity, and promoting the rights of visually and or hearing impaired persons. It also aims to promote local content to support social cohesion and nation building and safeguard media diversity, pluralism, freedom of expression and information.

that black women should hold 25 percent of executive board

Clean audit

positions and 30 percent of executive and senior management

I must also commend the departments on doing well to

positions.

achieve a clean audit for the 2015/16 financial year.

Companies have a two-year window period that started on

Notably, the Department of Communication's clean audit was

April 1 to deliver against their business’ transformation plans.

achieved without the use of a single consultant in the past

They will then be required to submit themselves for annual

financial year and despite funding constraints, which have

verification against the new codes.

limited staff to 65 employees (far from the 400 described in our

Government will use its sizeable spending in the advertising

organogram). Instead, many employees worked extra hours

and communication space to support the implementation of

beyond the call of duty, while many staff from GCIS also lent

the codes, which will be monitored by the MAC Sector Council.

a hand.

Through the State Owned Enterprises Communicators

In all, the department achieved 63 percent, or 52 of the 82

Association, representing over 700 state entities and agencies,

targets set for 2015/16, and staff are implementing several

we will begin a process to affirm compliant companies through

measures to address the auditor-general’s previous concerns

the communications supply chain. We encourage companies

GCIS also obtained its second consecutive clean audit. I

that want to do business with the government and its entities

applaud the department’s unwavering determination to

to meet the commitments inscribed in the codes.

provide relevant, accurate and timeous information to the

Films and Publications Amendment Bill

South African public.

In early 2016 the Portfolio Committee on Communications

Media freedom

okayed the Films and Publications Amendment Bill and agreed

Finally, it is important to note that media freedom in South

to take the bill for public consultation across the country.

Africa is not in decline. The country is still blessed with a free

The bill seeks to align South Africa with international best practice on matters regarding the regulation of distribution of online content. It further seeks to strengthen efforts to combat the online distribution of illegal content as defined in the Films and Publications Act of 1996. It also seeks to increase the responsibilities of internet service

Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017

press, where the safety of journalists is guaranteed. Journalists can still report without fear or favour. There is no journalist who is in jail for doing his or her work. We encourage the media to continue to play a vital role in our democracy. A free media is an essential partner in strengthening any democracy.

7

PSM December/January Edition 2016/2017  

Public Sector Manager Aimed at all middle and senior managers in the Public Service and the Public Sector in general, Public Sector Manager...

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