EFF's Ndlozi says advertising industry must be fined R50bn for racism

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EFF's. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi .(Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)
EFF's. Mbuyiseni Ndlozi .(Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Felix Dlangamandla)
  • The EFF's Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the advertising industry must be fined R50 billion for racist adverts and ad-spend. 
  • Ndlozi says 50% of the fine should be given to the SABC.  
  • The inquiry, by the South African Human Rights Commission, is hearing testimony about racism and discrimination in the advertising industry. 

The EFF's Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says the advertising industry must be fined R50 billion for perpetuating racism.  

Ndlozi, speaking at the South African Human Rights Commission's inquiry into racial discrimination or discrimination in advertising, on Monday, accused the industry of being racist. 

"A finding must be made that all these brands redirect their ad-spend on [sic] black media owners because the patterns at the moment are irrational, idiotic and racist.

"For having practised racism, the advertising industry since the advent of democracy, they must be forced to pay compensation as a sign of remorse. It must be directed to black communities. We have a proposal that the whole sector must be fined an amount of no less than R50 billion for racism, which can be proven."

He said 50% of the amount must be given to the SABC, and the other 50% must be distributed among black-owned community radio stations. 

"If we do not reach practicable punishment, we will never resolve the racism we see in the advertising sector."

ALSO READ | Advertising agencies should be held accountable for racist adverts - Zulaikha Patel

Ndlozi said: "A responsible government by now would have regulated [the industry]. We need rational spending in advertising." 

Asked how much the EFF spent with black-owned media houses, he said he didn't know.

"As a matter of principle, we take SABC audiences [as] fundamentally strategic. The space is constipated by white media owners... If you want the best spots." 

Ad-spend 

"The biggest sufferers of discrimination in media are black media owners. They have suffered and continue to suffer because of the colour of their skins," Ndlozi told the inquiry. 

He said the top six advertising agencies in the country are foreign and white-owned, and they bill about 95% of all media ad-spend.

"Smaller black-owned agencies mainly get work from government, which accounts for a very small share."

He said 60% of all the radio ad-spend is allocated to Primedia's 702, 94.7, and KFM plus Kagiso Media's Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio. 

"These stations don't even collectively command 25% of South Africa's radio audience share. This is in comparison to SABC'S 18 radio stations that collectively command over 65% of the listeners. 94.7 with a listenership of 800 000 and only based in Johannesburg receives much more revenue than Metro FM, which covers the whole country with an audience of about 4.6 million. 

"The second [biggest] billing radio station in South Africa is Jacaranda FM which mainly broadcasts in Pretoria and certain parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. It makes more revenue than any SABC radio station."

He said 94.7 bills three times more than KayaFM. This is despite KayaFM having a bigger audience. 

The difference is that the overwhelming majority of KayaFM listeners are black [and] regarded as cheap, regardless of their spending power. Advertising agencies and corporate clients are racist. This is anti-black racism.

According to the most recent radio measurement figures,  94.7  has 1.1 million listeners. Kaya FM has 701 000 listeners and 702 has 747 000.  

Ndlozi said things were even worse in the billboard market, which he claimed without evidence was an, "... all-white boy's club.

"The big spenders are all engaged in anti-black racism when it comes to anti-black spending. They pay more for a white-owned billboard than they would do for a black-owned billboard regardless of where the billboard is located.

"They can go to Chris Hani Road [in Soweto] and pay more for a billboard in the area and pay less for a black-owned one." 

Protest 

Speaking about the TRESemme advert that described black women’s hair as "dry and damaged hair”, “frizzy and dull hair", Ndlozi said it was important to protest against the company.  

After the advert was released, the EFF organised protests to Clicks stores. 

"The campaign raised awareness on a new and insightful approach to deal with anti-black racism. There have to be consequences. From time to time we indulge in court… but picket lines just cost us our bodies. They have a reliable impact."

Last week, the Equality Court found the advert didn't discriminate against black women. 

The hearing continues on Tuesday. 


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