NEW AGE PAYING Part 2: Minister defends New Age spending

BY CHARL BOSCH - FEBRUARY 2, 2015

Controversial Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has labelled allegations made by the Democratic Alliance (DA) about wasted expenditure as baseless, after the party’s Shadow Minister for Communications, Gavin Davis, accused her department of spending R10.2-million in government advertising on The New Age newspaper, due to its links with the politically connected Gupta family.

“The department of communications' in-house media buying team directs strategic government media buying using Telmar Media's suite of world-wide leading media advertising software and services used for reach, frequency and optimisation,” the SABC quoted the minister as saying on Sunday.

“Government uses mass communication to fulfil its mandate to communicate to the largest possible spread of South Africans.”

In a statement last week, Davis said the amount spend on The New Age during the 2013/2014 financial year accounted for 11.2% of all government advertising across 248 publication, and that it was roughly the same as to what was spend on The Sowetan, which has a readership of 1.6-million versus The New Age’s 153 000.

“When The New Age was launched, many feared that President Zuma and those close to him would use it as a propaganda tool. Since then, the President has set up his own Ministry of Propaganda headed by his loyalist Faith Muthambi,” Davis said.

Muthambi has dismissed Davis’ propaganda claims saying that The New Age cannot be compared with a metropolitan publication like The Sowetan.

“If we followed honourable Davis MP's argument, government would need to advertise in a greater number of metropolitan newspapers, in all provinces to match the footprint of The New Age, at a greater cost than that of advertising in The New Age,” she said.

 

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