Switch-off for radio publicity proposal
THE Msunduzi Municipality wants to spend more than R500 000 on radio airtime to allow the mayor to tell the city’s “positive stories” and “promote the municipality to the whole South Africa”.
The proposal, drafted by the city’s communications department, was tabled before the executive committee members during yesterday’s exco meeting. Slammed by the opposition, the item was later withdrawn by municipal manager Sizwe Hadebe.
The proposal stated that the municipality would purchase five-minute slots for interviews with the mayor on Ukhozi FM over the next 12 months. This was to cost the council R558 691.
It was, however, unclear in the details whether there would be one five-minute interview a month for 12 months or if there would be numerous interviews per month over the next 12 months.
The proposal was attacked by opposition parties, who said instead of wasting money on “telling good stories” the city should rather focus on creating good stories, starting with investing the money in cleaning the city.
The proposal, which largely focused on extolling the virtues of the radio station and was scant on details as to the value the campaign would add to the city, stated that Ukhozi FM is a well-known national radio station with more than 7 million listeners.
It said the station catered to people ranging from young to old, but specifically the youth, reinforcing a sense of pride and culture in the young people of South Africa.
“People in Pietermaritzburg listen to Ukhozi and therefore the message that will be communicated by the mayor will come across to every Msunduzi citizen. The whole of South Africa will know about Msunduzi Municipality and its vision and the mission,” it said.
Opposition parties said the proposal was a pointless exercise and a waste of municipal resources.
“The communications unit told us we have our own internal newspaper that has a very wide reach for the citizens of this municipality. They told us they did not even want to use the local commercial and community newspapers because our newspaper would be used to tell the city’s positive stories,” said DA exco member Jerome Majola.
IFP councillor Thinasonke Ntombela said: “There is no point in speaking to the whole nation when what you want is to be addressing your local community.”