Chief Executive Officer: Mr Lumko Mtimde
Mr Eric Kholwane Chairperson of Portfolio Committee
Professor Somadoda Sikeni
Dr Setumo Muhapi CEO of SENTEC
Mr Goodmen Chauke Mind Set Network
Community Media Representatives
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am honoured to address this Summit today being held in our Province and it is indeed a wonderful occasion.
The President HE Dr Jacob Zuma during the State of the Nation Address in 2014 highlighted the message that "South Africa Is A Better Place Than It Was In 1994, and that As Country We Should Tell A Good Story"
. This should be projected as a theme tagline in creating the sense of pride amongst South Africans.
This event comes at a time as we celebrate 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy. We thank the MDDA and the community media for playing a critical role in education.
The MDDA is a statutory development agency set up as a strategic partnership between the South African government, major print, and broadcasting companies; tasked with the responsibility to ensure media development and diversity in the country.
The main aim of the MDDA is to assist in developing community media and small commercial media in South Africa; as per the MDDA Act No. 14 of 2002. The work they do is important as it contributes to the realisation of Section 16 and 32 of the Constitution Act No. 108 of 1996 - provides for the freedom of expression and access to information.
Like other developing nations, South Africa has the common feature of unequal access to the media between those who live in rural and informal settlements and those who live in urban and in affluent areas. The former has very limited access to all forms of media whilst the latter has access to all means of media such as electronic, mobile and print media.
The only reliable access that the rural and informal settlement communities have is community media (especially radio).
As we evaluate this project - we should all be encouraged by the hard work of the MDDA and the output coming out of the MDDA direct and indirect interventions through the provision of financial and non-financial support to young people creating and controlling their own media.
Since launched in 2009, the media literacy programme has mainly focused its training and capacity building interventions on learners from historically disadvantaged communities as the primary beneficiaries.
In order for the learners to be media wise and start their own media product at school level, the support from educators is important as media can be used to inform and educate.
As we evaluate the project, let us come with plans on how we are to build capacity of the educators as the key support structure for the project to be sustainable at school level.
The Department of Basic Education is therefore key and central to the success of this intervention. I am pleased to note that since the beginnings the Department has always been part of this programme.
The Media Literacy and Culture of Reading project is part of the activities that the MDDA prides itself in. In February 2012, the Agency launched the Media Literacy Toolkit. A toolkit that guides school learners and educators to establish their own school newspapers used for communication at the school.
The same newspapers will encourage the culture of reading among the learners and also the community. They will promote writing skills and in the process contribute in enhancing the learners' grammar and spelling. Media literacy education is a means of developing media literacy.
It provides tools to help people critically analyze messages to detect propaganda, censorship and bias in news and public affairs programming (and the reasons for such), and to understand how structural features - such as media ownership or its funding model affects the information presented.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The MDDA has a mandate to create an enabling environment for media development and diversity that is conducive to public discourse and that which reflects the needs and aspirations of all South Africans. Further, Section 3 (v) of the MDDA Act requires the Agency to support initiatives which promote literacy and a culture of reading. Accordingly, the MDDA proposed a Media Literacy & Culture of Reading Summit as an attempt to support initiatives that promote literacy and a culture of reading amongst diminished language groups and inadequately served communities.
The objectives of the project, amongst others include:
Quote: "Each generation must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity." (Frantz Fanon) Unqoute.
- Advocating for the introduction of media education as part of the school curriculum,
- Forge linkages and partnerships with the Department of Basic Education (DoE) on all levels and other relevant partners,
- Promote the development of media at an early age, and instill in youth, a need for critical engagement with media,
- Create an awareness in media interest for both producers and consumers of media,
- Grow the readership of media in general,
- Grow a society that will meaningfully participate in the country's democracy through media,
- Ensure the development and diversification of media through introduction of student media, also referred to as atypical media, and promote a vibrant national reading culture.
Let's appreciate the work done by a number of fellow South Africans who have demonstrated commitment to be active towards building a truly non-racial, non-sexist, united and prosperous South Africa.
As the President would say, "The future of our country definitely looks bright with such active participation in building a better South Africa."
Let us together move South Africa forward.