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Setting the record straight: TimesLive article, "M&G and New Age 'to help start-ups'"

According to a report by Denise Williams published in the Times Live 18th March 2013 edition, the journalist wrongfully reports that "MDDA CEO Lumko Mtimde told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications on Friday that the newspapers had offered the agency money to help it establish community radio stations and publications."
The MDDA would like to correct the factual inaccuracies that are contained in this statement. The MDDA Act 14 of 2002 states in section 21 (1) that "The Board may enter into agreements with any organisation terms of which financial or non-financial assistance is given to the Agency for the furtherance of the objectives of this Act". As part of giving effect to this provision, the Agency enters into funding agreements with various funding partners, such as Caxton, Media 24, Avusa and Independent Media group and such agreements state that funds raised from the print sector are for the exclusive use and benefit of the print sector beneficiaries who are the small commercial and community print sector as defined in the MDDA Act. Similarly, the MDDA Act read with Section 89 of the Electronic Communications Act of 2005 and ICASA Regulations enables 0.2% of the broadcast service licensees turnover to be contributed to MDDA and these funds are used to support the community broadcasting sector.

The suggestion therefore that funds raised through the print media industry contributions are therefore used to fund community radio stations as reported, is factually incorrect and has the potential to mislead. The Agency would appreciate it if TimesLive would correct this inaccuracy and report the matter with the correct facts.

19 Mar 2013 10:42

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