Western Cape government cans its Cape Times subscriptions

2015-03-15 15:00

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The DA-led Western Cape government has stopped subscribing to one of the Independent Media group’s flagship titles, the Cape Times.

In a letter dated March 9 2015, Western Cape director-general Brent Gerber told provincial department heads the provincial cabinet had made the decision because of “the ongoing decline in the quality of reporting in the Cape Times”.

“As we get newspaper cuttings every day, cabinet considers it to be fruitless expenditure to renew Cape Times subscriptions. You are therefore requested not to renew or initiate further subscriptions,” he said.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille said her government was not under any obligation to subscribe to any newspaper in the country.

“Subscribing to newspapers that otherwise do not add value is fruitless and wasteful expenditure.”

She said she would reveal an example of the shocking quality of the Cape Times reporting in her newsletter today.

“It is just one of very many,” she said.

Independent Media’s Lutfia Vayej said the company was shocked.

“All the editors in the Independent Media stable are open to engagement with its readers and subscribers,” Vayej said.

“It is a pity that Helen Zille and her officials did not use this opportunity before embarking on their decision, which we believe goes against the promotion of a free press.

“It is our hope that other provincial governments do not take such actions against other media,” she said.

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