SA chas­tised for be­tray­ing Madiba

Grocott's Mail - - HIGHWAY AFRICA 2017 - By LESEDI THWALA and THANDEKA SIT­HOLE

Del­e­gates to High­way AfricaSACOMM (the South Africa Com­mu­ni­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion) 2017 were treated a wel­come din­ner with som­bre ad­dresses by Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Ad­vance­ment at Rhodes Univer­sity, Luzuko Ja­cobs. Ja­cobs said South Africa was in dire need of ac­count­abil­ity in gov­er­nance struc­tures.

“South Africa’s poverty sta­tis­tics are dis­tress­ing while at the same time there is a lot of cor­rup­tion in lo­cal gov­ern­ment struc­tures,” Ja­cobs said, adding that that the cur­rent gov­er­nance of South Africa does not re­flect Nel­son Man­dela’s no­tion of demo­cratic ac­count­abil­ity.

“But I ap­plaud the me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers present for your tire­less mo­ti­va­tion to serve the public and its con­cerns.”

The MTN Group Ex­ec­u­tive of Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Chris Maroleng. Maroleng touched on the cru­cial role jour­nal­ists and me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers play in serv­ing as a re­minder to gov­er­nance and those in power to “de­part from evil”. He also said the op­er­a­tor re­mained com­mit­ted to sup- port­ing jour­nal­ists by build­ing in­no­va­tive news­rooms that in­vite com­mu­ni­ties to tell their own sto­ries.

Dr El­ner­ine Gre­eff, the Act­ing Deputy Pres­i­dent of SACOMM thanked Rhodes Univer­sity, par­tic­u­larly the School of Jour­nal­ism and Me­dia for host­ing this year’s con­fer­ence and MTN for be­ing a valu­able spon­sor, a theme that Chris Kab­wato, Di­rec­tor of High­way Africa was also keen to em­pha­sise, see­ing as MTN were the event spon­sors, and have also been long-term part­ners of High­way Africa.

The theme for 2017 con­fer­ence was “Me­dia, Ac­count­abil­ity and Lo­cal Gov­er­nance” in which ro­bust dis­cus­sions took take place be­tween me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers and jour­nal­ists. Many del­e­gates were in­trigued to be at­tend­ing a con­fer­ence with a jour­nal­is­tic face (High­way Africa) on side, and an aca­demic face on the other (SACOMM), although both were in­ter­ro­gat­ing the most press­ing is­sues in African and world me­dia to­day.

• Lesedi Thwala and Thandeka Sit­hole were re­port­ing for Open Source, the pub­li­ca­tion of High­way Africa

Photo: Steven Chikosi

Chris Maroleng, Group Ex­ec­u­tive of Co­po­rate Af­fairs for MTN.

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