City’s radio ad proposal blasted

2017-10-16 13:45
Opposition slams 'wasteful' promotion on Ukhozi FM.

Opposition slams 'wasteful' promotion on Ukhozi FM. (File)

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Opposition parties have slammed Msunduzi Municipality for considering paying more than R500 000 per month to Ukhosi FM for a five-minute broadcasting slot over the next year.

The proposal was withdrawn by acting City manager Sizwe Hadebe for reconsideration after opposition parties branded it “wasteful”. Althought the item was withdrawn, it could be brought back to council for reconsideration.

Drafted by the City’s communication team, the proposal was brought to the Msunduzi executive council last week.

The proposed five-minute airtime slot would have been dedicated to Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo promoting the city and telling positive stories “to the whole of South Africa”.

The two-page document did not go into detail around what Njilo would be using the time on radio for, and rather focused on the wide listenership Ukhozi FM has.

It was recommended that the strategic management committee approve a payment of R558 691 to Ukhozi FM for the mayoral 12-month interview slot, but after an outcry from opposition parties, Hadebe withdrew the item.

The proposal referred to Umkhozi FM as “one of the biggest radio stations on the planet”, which has constant access to more than seven million listeners.

However, IFP councillor Dennis Ntombela said that there was no point speaking to “all of South Africa” when the municipality should be addressing the people living in Msunduzi.

The report stated that since the people of Pietermaritzburg listen to Ukhozi FM “therefore the messages that will be communicated by the mayor will come across to every Msunduzi citizen”.

But, earlier on in the recommendation to council, the communications team noted that the Durban-based radio station broadcasts mainly in Zulu and “loosely targets isiZulu speaking and understanding audiences in South Africa”.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola criticised the City’s communication team for misleading the council following a recent report where they said the Msunduzi newspaper was more than capable of communicating with residents.

“The same communication team told us not so long ago that our internal newspaper has such a wide reach that there was no need to advertise in local newspapers,” Majola said.

He was referring to a recent report passed at council to halt all advertising with The Witness and community newspapers in Pietermaritzburg.

The report stated that the City’s internal newspaper, Msunduzi News, would carry all advertisements and positive stories, and selected tender and employment advertisements would be published in commercial and community newspapers.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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