Govt commit to keep media informed

2012-10-20 22:06

Johannesburg - Government will make information readily available so that the media can inform the public and empower them to hold it accountable, it said on Saturday.

In a joint statement issued by the office of deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe and the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef), both parties committed to working closer together to improve the country's performance.

Sanef called on government to repeal or amend apartheid-era laws that were still in force and which, in Sanef's view, unjustifiably restricted the free flow of information.

Cabinet indicated that work in this regard had already started and both parties committed to expediting the process.

A meeting between government and Sanef, held in Magaliesburg on Friday and Saturday, concentrated on key policy issues and the overall direction in which the country was moving.

Government shared a range of information and insights with the country's editors on the global economic crisis, recent economic trends, infrastructure development, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the National Development Plan.

Motlanthe said at the opening of the meeting on Friday that government and media needed to respect each other’s roles if they were to address South Africa's problems.

Diversity of opinion

"This understanding is critical if we are to establish and maintain a robust, participatory democracy in which all of us work together to build a better society and economy," he said.

"We recognised that media freedom and access to information had to be secured alongside the responsibility of government to conduct its work transparently and to communicate with the public."

Motlanthe added that government had a duty to ensure there was a diversity of opinion in public discourse and that no voice should go unheard.

"In an open democracy such as ours, these voices don't have to be mutually agreeable and don’t have to agree with government."

Sanef deputy chair Nic Dawes welcomed Motlanthe’s remarks and said although Sanef still had some concerns with government's approach to the media, he believed these would be dealt with in future.

  • crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-20 22:38

    All of the various authorities in this country should keep the inhabitants informed. It is simply not negotiable that we should be excluded from knowing what's going on. The James Bond era and its childishness is over. Or is it? Check those dark, black spectacles some in authority seems to prefer. Let's not fall for nonsense that it is a gift to the media that information will be made available. The DA has already fallen for the deceit that there is a need for secrecy. The media must be wide awake. Don't compromise. This country after all belongs to ALL its inhabitants. The fact that you may be some big wig politician or general does not entitle you to EXCLUSIVE INFORMATION WHATSOEVER about OUR country. Who do you think your are?

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-10-21 10:45

      What he's really saying is they'll decide what we need to know. Why was the government not forthcoming about the expenditure at nkandla? Why was the arms deal kept under wraps? Why the proposed restrictions on the press? The ANC loves the press as long as they behave like puppy dogs, but the moment they ask questions about the president, his henchmen or wasted funds then they become white colonialists, "un-african", negative, etc, etc....

  • camp.j - 2012-10-20 22:53

    Sure they will, Cape Town will be windy with a max temperature of 27c. High tide will be at 6.22am and low at 12.23pm. The media will need to continue being investigative AND not rely on government. They are liars, we already know that.

      rodney.bevan.58 - 2012-10-21 00:17

      What happened to the media laws? The ANC were threatening to close them down, jail them, prosecute them blah blah blah. Now we are asked to believe you corrupt swine have had a change of heart? The day I see ALL expenses submitted for examination and criticism, the fraudsters, corrupt politicians, tenderpreneurs and their friends in jail is the day I believe a single word from any ANC member. Add to that, no get out of jail free card for supposed sickness, all murderers, rapists and child molesters put down, the unions crushed, Malema and his buddies actually shut up, then maybe we can discuss things, in the meantime, expect all sorts of comments about your behaviour. The public is not as stupid as you hoped and every day more and more of them are learning about your antics.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-20 23:02

    Yeah right.... don't trust.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-10-21 10:31

      Words and promises....are we forgetting there is voting for leadership coming up soon....and it's the same old promises, but as soon as voting is done...everything stays exactly as it was...(sometimes get's worse)

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-20 23:05


      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-20 23:13


  • lala.kunene - 2012-10-21 01:38

    Mbeki is a leader, man with....integrity. He knows his story just love the Mbeki family, if I were to choose, Thabo would still be a president and his brother MOEKETSI Be A Deputy pres. of S.A I have a big respect for these gentleman’s

  • mark.a.fysh - 2012-10-21 01:57

    Greeks bearing gifts

  • darra.pillay - 2012-10-21 02:49

    How kind of Govt. to keep us informed. This does , of course begs the question: "does this mean they haven't done so prior to this?" And of course it does imply that they could withhold info at entirely their own discretion. The other question that does arise is "given their past record, can they be trusted"? .... why am I convinced not?"

  • spillies - 2012-10-21 04:06

    A DARING RISK. The ANC are clearly getting ready for elections (Mangaung also coming up). They realise that the only way to win over the public, is by swaying the newspapers. The risk that they are however taking, is that the people will be informed about their MANY attrocities as Government (and all that goes with that), their lies, their pathetic ecxcuses, their cadre deployments, their total collapse as a Government (compared to the DA ruled Western Cape), will be exposed. So, me thinks....the SNKE WILL BITE THE HAND THAT LET IT LOOSE.

  • spillies - 2012-10-21 04:11

    THE NEXT BIG MOVE. Housing on big scale is on again. Gotta win the masses back with empty promises again, before election time. \Luckily the people/masses believe what they want to hearl\. They will all vote for the ANC again...and when the elections are over, once more there will be demonstrations from the masses because of poor- or no-delivery.

      henk63 - 2012-10-21 07:48

      I would rather have the ANC make promises they can't keep, than the DA. This "free houses" promise is unsustainable and no right-minded goverment would ever promise that. It's pure madness.

  • summer.mackenzie.96 - 2012-10-21 05:09

    I love election time, new promises for votes - and now let's temporarily unlock the media's handcuffs, we can cuff them again after....and surely no-one will remember our efforts in legislating restrictions??? Nooo.....

  • Erna - 2012-10-21 05:13

    They can start by telling us all about Nkandla and Zumaville and exactly who is paying for what!

      summer.mackenzie.96 - 2012-10-21 05:21

      Don't hold ur breath

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-10-21 07:05

      @erna: an old law has been dusted off shelf and used to stifle that. Sorry to deliver the bad news this early on a very good Sunday morning. It the township lingua franca we say 'hardy-buddy'.

      Erna - 2012-10-21 08:06

      Amazing how some laws from the bad old days are good when it suits them.

  • Tshepo Gwamanda - 2012-10-21 06:27

    Well done to our government recognising the need for the public to be informed and the role the media plays in that. Now scrap the State Secrecy Bill!!!

  • Tshepo Gwamanda - 2012-10-21 06:27

    Well done to our government recognising the need for the public to be informed and the role the media plays in that. Now scrap the State Secrecy Bill!!!

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-21 08:32

      Well said!

  • Shane Loxton - 2012-10-21 07:06

    Did they not make these same promises about E-tolling before the last Elections, how did that one work out?

  • Nigel - 2012-10-21 07:20

    After everything the ANC has done, and continue to do, there is simply no trust. Say what you want and promise the world - no faith due to your track record.

  • Zahir - 2012-10-21 09:00

    The media cannot trust anc their info bill is there to hide the facts about anc corruption

  • Zahir - 2012-10-21 09:08

    Anc response to media is lie ,deny, no comment

  • catherine.l.vanzyl - 2012-10-21 12:45

    lets start a support group of the PUBLIC PROTECTOR through all media links, lets show we have the PUBLIC PROTECTOR to protect us and put all money muchers in the eyes. if you munch our money we will put you in the eyes and let the law runs it course, lets make it really difficult to munch our bucks...SUPPORT THE PUBLIC PROTECTOR...ELEVATE THE OFFICE THROUGH OUR VOICES....let give them stick, those who are giving us a beating, lets stick it back to them!!!

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