President Mbeki has appointed the nine-member Board which will govern the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), ushering in a new dawn for media development and diversity initiatives in South Africa, especially for the community and small commercial media sector.
The nine members of the Board are:
- Mr Gibson Boloka
- Ms Nomhle Canca
- Ms Kerry Jane Cullinan
- Ms Kanyisiwe Mkonza
- Mr Christopher James Moerdyk
- Mr Connie Molusi
- Ms Nunu Ntshingila
- Mr Govin Reddy
- Mr Tony Trew
The President has appointed Ms Mkonza as Chair of the MDDA Board.
In terms of the financing of the MDDA, the Act provides for the Agency to be an independent, statutory body, to be jointly funded by government and the media industry. The Agency is also enabled by the Act to approach donor organisations to mobilise further funding. Although jointly funded, the MDDA will function independently and at an arms length from all funding sectors.
This arrangement represents the building of an unprecedented partnership that will enable government, the media industry and donors to work together towards addressing the legacy of imbalances in access to the media.
Likewise, the composition of the MDDA Board also represents the principle of partnership. In terms of the MDDA Act the President has appointed six of the nine members on the recommendation of the National Assembly. This followed a public nominations and interview process co-ordinated through the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications in September 2002.
The remaining three members have been appointed directly by the President, taking into account the financing of the Agency, two of whom should come from the commercial broadcast and print media sector respectively. Mr Connie Malusi was nominated by the commercial print media funders of the MDDA (Independent Newspapers, Caxton Publishers, Naspers, Johnnic Publications and Nail). Ms Nomhle Canca was nominated by the commercial broadcast media owners (SABC, Mnet, Kagiso, Primedia and eTV). The third direct appointment is Mr Tony Trew who is Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the GCIS.
The establishment of the MDDA marks the final stage in the realisation of the recommendation of the 1996 Comtask report, as adopted by Cabinet, that government should facilitate the process of setting up a statutorily recognised media development agency that will operate a subsidy system to promote media diversity in South Africa.
To achieve its objectives the MDDA will provide support primarily to community as well as to small commercial media projects. Such support will include, amongst other things, financial and other grants, training, capacity building and in-kind assistance.
It is expected that the first meeting of the board will take place in January 2003.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)