Media sponsor pulls out of ANC elective conference
The ANC initially indicated it would provide booths for media houses.
Preparations are underway for the upcoming ANC elective conference, 7 December 2022, seen during a media tour of the facilities at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Nasrec. Photo: Michel Bega/The Citizen
A sponsor tasked with building facilities to allow media houses to report on the upcoming ANC elective conference has reportedly pulled out.
The news was confirmed by national spokesperson Pule Mabe, who told SABC News this was owed to the sponsor experiencing “a number of challenges”.
Reporters may now have to pay money from their own budgets to set up booths in the media village, just a few days before the start of the 55th elective conference, due to start on Friday.
Media sponsor pulls out
The ANC initially indicated it would provide booths for media houses to set up their equipment, and facilities to report on the conference.
“We were met with an unfortunate incident yesterday. One of our headline sponsors for the media village came and said they experienced a number of challenges.
“So, they could not longer honour the initial sponsorship amount that they had indicated that they would assist with,” he said in an interview.
Media won’t be paying
Mabe said media houses will not be paying to report from the media village at the conference.
“There was never a desire on our side to have the media paying to be at the media village,” he told the SABC.
“We can now confirm to media outlets with interest that there’s not going to be any expectations of what we thought could be a challenge… and media houses are now expected to start with the construction of their own sites.
“The ANC will not make the media to pay to cover its conference… It is yourselves and your own requirements which need money, not us.”
South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) Chairperson Sbu Ngalwa told SABC News Mabe was “economical with the truth.”
“When it comes to the SABC and he said the media it not expected to pay, actually that is not correct because the ANC a while ago said the media will pay for space and there was clamour from the entire media, including ourselves as Sanef, and they backtracked on that position.
“When they had a meeting with Sanef, Pule Mabe in his own words told the representative of Sanef and the media houses that the ANC would be able to provide the same services that they provided for the media at the ANC policy conference in July…
“So now, on the eve of conference, to turn around and then suggest that those services will not be available.
“We’ve asked for a meeting with the ANC to go through this issue and to actually understand why they would actually be bringing this surprise on us a few mere days before conference because media houses have allocated budgets… for functions like this,” Ngalwa said.
He said it was “unfair” to spring this information on media houses so close to the start of the conference.
He said it could be the result of “poor planning”, or “deliberate”.
The ANC conference is taking place at Nasrec from 16 to 20 December.
Compiled by By Faizel Patel
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