Johannesburg, South Africa 1 February 2018
The Black Management Forum (the BMF) has noted with concern and disappointment the cancellation of the Africa News Network7 (ANN7) contract by MultiChoice. The media industry's role in our society is significant as it helps in providing facts and different interpretations of our daily lives and the world we live in. The information that the media generates empowers communities to make informed decisions on business, socio-economic and political issues to mention but a few. In fact, it is the mirror that reflects our society.
The BMF views the cancellation of the ANN7 contract by MultiChoice as regressive and thus does not promote and advance diversity within the media industry. In addition, South Africa is a democratic country and all attempts to bring about diversity within the media industry must be embraced and supported by all citizens including corporate citizens. The dominance by MultiChoice is susceptible to the company misusing its power, duly influencing the whole industry negatively and closing out other players that they might not agree with on principle.
Mncane Mthunzi, the President of the BMF alluded to this fact citing that, the BMF has received the news of the cancellation of ANN7s contract by MultiChoice with absolute discontent. How the company has handled this matter leaves a lot to be desired, where the whole country has witnessed the flaunting of corporate governance principles to inconsistencies in how the company handles their partnership agreements. It becomes clear to all that MultiChoice did not consider the impact of their decision to potential job losses that staff members at ANN7 will suffer. This, in our view as the BMF goes against all attempts by the government and business to find workable solutions for the betterment of our economy and the nation at large.
The concentration of the media industry by a few players that are mainly white owned remains a concern to the BMF. The result of this is exactly what we are witnessing today, where MultiChoice is adamant in crowding out other players, in particular a black-owned company. The dominance of MultiChoice within the media space remains a serious threat to our hard-fought democracy. In a democratic country, diverse media ownership and views must be promoted in order to ensure that all players in particular black-owned media companies are given space to operate and that their existence is not threatened and lastly that all news are widely reported in a most inclusive manner, Mncane said.
About the Black Management Forum
The Black Management Forum (the BMF) has been in existence for 41 years. It is a non-racial, thought-leadership organisation with the main purpose of influencing socio-economic transformation in our country, in pursuit of socio-economic justice, fairness and equity. The BMF stands for the development and empowerment of managerial leadership and the creation of managerial structures and processes that reflect the demographics and values of the wider society.
For more information, please contact:
Black Management Forum
Head: Marketing & Communications