Pretoria – The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) has continued to benefit community media and small commercial media, Deputy Minister in the Presidency Dina Pule says.
Set up by an Act of Parliament, the MDDA is tasked with enabling “historically disadvantaged communities and persons not adequately served by the media” to gain access to the media. The agency has supported more than 343 media projects across the country, which was done at a budget of R128.8 million accumulatively since 2004.
“Since inception, the Agency has trained over 1 300 people, provided 143 bursaries to different radio and print media and created approximately 200 (direct and indirect) job opportunities beneficiary projects, which empowered more people with skills that enabled them to participate in the broader media and broadcasting industry,” Pule told the National Assembly during the debate on the GCIS Budget Vote.
Looking ahead, the agency plans to support at least one community radio, one community media and magazine, one commercial newspaper and magazine at each District Municipality and at least one community television station in each province.
The Agency will also look at media accountability mechanisms that complement and strengthen self regulation, enhance media credibility and accountability, discourage irresponsible reporting, promote high standards in the media, encourage professionalism and strengthen our democracy.
Pule also touched on the work of the International Marketing Council (IMC), which she said will soon change to Brand SA, whose function is to market South Africa, from fostering a good image at big events such as the FIFA World Cup, the country’s term at the UNSC and inclusion to BRICS.
Proposal for the name change, Pule said, will be tabled to Cabinet in July. GCIS is in the process of finalizing draft Guidelines for International Engagements that will ensure a more composite communication approach to international engagements.
Pule said it will also place development at the epicenter of the international developmental agenda, where South Africans will be kept informed about how the international agenda contributes towards the attainment of domestic priorities. – BuaNews