Address by the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Nomasonto Motaung (MP) on the occasion of the Marketing, Advertising and Communication (MAC) Charter B-BBEE Council Women’s Day event at the Inanda Polo Club, Sandton, Johannesburg
Programme Director, Councillor Tebogo Ditshego,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, Mr Boyce Maneli, MP,
Commission for Gender Equity Commissioner, Manyamana,
GCIS Acting Director-General, Ms Nomonde Mnukwa,
Mr Angelo Tandy, Chairperson, and Members of MAC B-BBEE Charter Council,
Brand South Africa Acting CEO, Ms Sithembile Ntombela
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On 9 August, 67 years ago, thousands of militant and fearless women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the draconian and oppressive pass laws imposed by the apartheid regime. One of those heroines is Charlotte Maxeke.
Mama Maxeke personifies the war against oppression and patriarchy. She remains an inspiration to those who are leading the war against racial oppression, patriarchy and socio-economic exclusion.
As the governing party, we view Women’s Month as a platform to commemorate the heroic contributions of women in the liberation Struggle. Our government focuses its attention on the rights of women and to assess how far we have come as a nation on the journey towards women empowerment and gender equality.
Government continues to pursue programmes, policies and activities that seek to create a better Africa and a better world.
In particular, the GCIS has a twin mandate: to coordinate, guide and lead the government-wide communication and; to provide information to citizens to enable them to improve their lives. The provision of government policies, activities and programme is delivered to society, among other things, through advertisements.
Advertising is the integral part of everyday’s life. Therefore, without advertising, modern society cannot survive, as advertisers, through artistic expression, contribute to bringing about economic development by increasing demand and encouraging economic activities, which fuel the desire to shop and, in turn, shopping stimulates the economy of all countries.
In our pursuit of these national dialogues and global exchanges, we draw on lessons and international experiences. We are proud be a country that is renowned as a multi-ethnic society. At the same time, we must all work together to end inequalities, poverty and social fragmentation.
In 2022, working with the private sector, we appointed and launched the Marketing, Advertising and Communication Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Charter Council. We have 14 women in the council and many of whom, are chairpersons and deputies of committees.
Furthermore, we duly directed that there be a mixture of experience and inexperience where young people are afforded an opportunity to learn from experienced members to impart knowledge and experiences, since the advertising sector is largely youthful.
The assumption is that these young people, who are mainly women, derive invaluable experience from knowledge that will come from the sector. In addition, through the GCIS relationship with the academia, I have the pleasure to announce my guests: 15 young women students from the Tshwane University of Technology who are in their final year of Journalism and Media Studies who are with us as part of celebrating women in the MAC sector.
Today, we are here to grow South Africa together – and particularly, to grow our media, advertising and communication sector because this is a stream that shapes and is shaped by our national identity, cultures and ambitions.
This is a sector that connects South Africans as compatriots and connects us to the rest of our continent and the global community.
It is a sector that draws on the creative spirit of our nation, both to celebrate and magnify the best of who and what we are.
But this is also a sector that can – and needs to – help us overcome the many persistent challenges that confront our society and economy.
As the MAC Sector Council, we have the duty to accelerate our advance towards the eradication of gender discrimination and to promote the rights of women and girls in all aspects of life, including the equal share of the economy.
As we celebrate the MAC Charter Council Women’s Day event, let us rededicate ourselves as a sector, to the task of promoting and protecting the rights of women and to assess the distance that we still need to travel on the journey towards women empowerment and gender equality; women’s rights and to unapologetically tackle gender-based violence and femicide.
I have noted and congratulated the MAC Charter Council for its commitment to ensure that responsible marketing initiatives are also aimed at pushing back the frontiers of gender-based violence and femicide as per its revised Sector Code, which was done recently, following public consultations with the majority of stakeholders in all provinces.
We believe that democracy has registered significant progress in restoring the dignity of women through various measures introduced by government, and this has contributed towards the empowerment of women, including availing more opportunities and access to services for women.
Notwithstanding the above, we remain painfully aware that the struggle for women emancipation is far from over. Women still bear a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Poverty and unemployment in South Africa continue to paint and portray a black female face.
In establishing this council, we were inspired yet again by the depth of passion, talent and commitment to our nation that allowed us to identify a collective of South Africans who can square up to this strategic mission:
Monitoring compliance with the MAC Charter Sector Code;
Providing guidance on matters relating to BEE in the MAC sector;
Developing a baseline indicator for all different elements of the B-BBEE; and
Engaging and advising the sector Minister, the GCIS and other relevant regulatory entities regarding the MAC Sector Code.
Our expectations of this sector are therefore, onerous.
But the history we are making today is centred on growing this sector in the same way we have grown other sectors of our economy through inclusion, empowerment and unleashing the energies and talents of South Africans.
The economic transformation in South Africa occurs at a time when globalisation is at an advanced stage, coupled with the devastating impact of COVID-19; technological convergence, which has resulted in advertising revenues moving to international Over-the Top Service providers, commonly known as FAANGS – that is, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google.
This represents an enormous challenge for the South African Government, and we will look to the MAC Charter Council to provide leadership and advice on how best government can match other countries’ successes in redressing the economic imbalances in a digital and multiplatform environment.
Therefore, South Africa, through the MAC Charter Council must focus all its attention on economic growth and the key problems affecting the South African economy.
One area of interest to us as government and to South Africans at large is that of advertising. It is an open secret that advertising is an integral part of everyday life and continues to be an important influence on people’s behaviour and attitudes, and on-demand creation in the consumer economy.
The backdrop to these tasks comprises our priorities of defeating COVID-19; achieving economic recovery; implementing reforms in our economy that will enable inclusive and sustainable growth; fighting corruption; building an ethical and capable state, and combating gender-based violence and femicide.
Source: Government of South Africa