25 March 2022
Programme Director, Ms. Portia Tau-Sekati,
ADDG Jacob Maphutha representing the Ministery of Trade, Industry and Competition
Hon. Deputy Minister/s in The Presidency and the DTIC
Mr Boyce Maneli MP, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications
Ms Lilliet Mamaregane MP, Chairperson of the Select Committee on Public Enterprises and Communications who is joining us from Cape Town
Director-General of GCIS, Ms Phumla Williams and other senior government officials
Councillors of B-BBEE MAC Sector Council
BEE Commissioner Ms Zodwa Ntuli,
Representatives of the MAC sector
Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you, DG Phumla Williams for the introduction and welcoming us here today.
I am very honoured to be forming part of this historic occasion.
We make a difference in our country every day, but we do not make history every day.
Today, we are here to grow South Africa together – and particularly to grow our media, advertising and communications sector together. This is a sector 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.
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.
We are able today to inaugurate the Council for the Media, Advertising and Communications Charter (MAC) for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment because transformation of this sector is a key imperative. But we are clear that the imperative of growth and of this sector’s contribution to our economy is our desired outcome.
In establishing this Council, we have been 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.
This is a group of women, men and young people who believe in themselves, in our country and in the future of industries and individual enterprises that have the potential help us grow the South Africa envisaged in our national Vision2030.
I am pleased that this process has been entrusted to the Government Communication and Information System, which is a component of the Presidency.
This positioning indicates the importance we attach to the development of the MAC sector as part of the broader development of our society.
GCIS bears the responsibility for leading the communications practice in government and for empowering citizens through the provision of official information and through engagement with communities.
Communications by government do not unfold in a vacuum.
The content we develop shares the information marketplace and the mindsets of publics in the country and elsewhere with various forms of communication produced by civil society, including the private sector.
Our communications reach audiences in every corner of our country but also every corner of the world, as our online content reaches beyond our national boundaries.
One area of interest to us as government and to South Africans at large is that of advertising.
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.
This pervasive influence comes with great responsibility. We come from a past where advertising told the story of a divided society.
We recall advertising for restaurants, cars and hotels that were made purely with white South Africans in mind as clients.
Black South Africans were portrayed in these advertisements as working in service positions or were included as a seemingly fun element. This was done because the producers of products and services were following the money, and the money was concentrated in the white consumer market.
Although we have made great strides since the advent of our democratic dispensation, we still do see sexism, racism and other offences of Constitution rearing their head from time to time in ways that set back the way South Africans feel about themselves and the way in which we relate to one another as citizens of this country.
With our eye on the future, we are today to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Marketing Advertising and Communication Sector Council.
This milestone carries the core message of the Sixth Administration, that we Grow South Africa Together. It also comes with the injunction of our President in his 2022 State of the Nation Address that we should “Leave No One Behind”.
Leaving no one behind is at the heart of our Constitution and our National Development Plan which enjoins all sectors of our society and all individuals to advance non-racialism and non-sexism.
We are also called upon to pursue and sustain social solidarity and pro-poor policies, and to redress the divisions and disadvantages of our past.
This is the transformation agenda for the MAC sector – alongside its potential to contribute to the investment drive led by the President with a target of R1,2 trillion in domestic and international investment in a five-year period that began in 2018.
The MAC Charter Sector Council is responsible for, inter alia:
- Oversee the implementation of the MAC Charter Sector Code;Monitor compliance with the MAC Charter Sector Code;
- Provide guidance on matters relating to BEE in the MAC sector;
- Develop baseline indicator for all different elements of the B-BBEE; and
- Engage and advise the sector Minister, GCIS and other relevant regulatory entities regarding the MAC Sector Code.
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 a capable state, and combating gender-based violence.
As the MAC sector anticipates its contribution to this national effort, we are guided and empowered by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act (Act 53 of 2003) which aims to bring previously disadvantaged individuals into the economic mainstream of the country.
This legislation is also our basis for achieving more equitable income distribution in our country with the purpose of correcting historical imbalances.
As we launch this Council, it is tasked with broadening the meaningful participation of blacks, women, youth and people with disabilities in this sector - not just as consumers but also as entrepreneurs.
This Council is tasked with building progressive partnerships that will unleash the creative abilities of professionals and technically skilled people in this sector and change the sector and society for the better.
The composition of the Council speaks to the goal of inclusivity and transformation. During our call for nomination process, published in a government gazette as well as in traditional and new media platforms, we stressed that members of the MAC Council must, when viewed collectively be persons who are suited to serve on the Council by virtue of their qualifications, expertise and experience in the sector;
- They must represent a broad cross-section of the population of the Republic; and
- They must be persons who are committed to the principles of promoting economic transformation as espoused in the Constitution of the Republic.
Today, we are proud that the Council has representatives from, academia, the regulator, marketers, women, youth, and people with disability, public relations institute, organised labour, outdoor media, industry associations and interactive marketers.
The Council functions independently and the annual transformation report it produces are processed through GCIS.
One of the first duties of the Council is to review and align the 2016 MAC sector code based on the new requirements issued by the DTIC in 2019. I want the Council to complete this by no later than January 2023, which is the fourth quarter of the next financial year, starting in April.
The revised Code will ensure that the sector can be measured with yardsticks that apply to MAC, instead of the generic code.
The advantage of sector specific code is that it brings regulatory certainty and enables the sector to maximise its transformative impact by focusing on opening up participation in the sector for designated groups that include women, youth and people with disabilities.
The gazetting of the code will be a monument to the sterling work that this Council is expected to do as it contributes in making our future work.
We expect young South Africans – who are worst affected by unemployment - to benefit from Enterprise and Supplier Development element of this Code. South Africa does not have a shortage of young entrepreneurs who are pursuing their dreams by establishing MAC businesses.
Young people in all provinces need a hand up and it is for this reason that this Council includes four young people with suitable qualifications who will serve as alternative members.
The economic transformation in South Africa occurs at a time when globalisation is at an advanced stage coupled with the 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, 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.
The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act is also intended to encompass elements of human resource development, employment equity, enterprise development, preferential procurement, as well as investment, ownership and control of enterprises and economic assets.
Today as we launch the MAC Charter Council, we express our appreciation to the Portfolio Committee on Communications in Parliament whose public hearings in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2011 assisted us and the private sector to embark on this transformation journey.
Today the hopes and aspirations of South Africans rest on the shoulders of the 25 men and women we are introducing to the nation today.
To ensure continuous improvement and enable the Council to intervene proactively and respond to issues as society evolves, the Sector Code will be reviewed every four years to take into account the views and expressions of our people, developments in the market and policy directives that would be issued by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition from time to time.
Immediately, the Council is mandated to:
- review and align the 2016 MAC Sector Code and submit the final document for my approval within 12 months from today;
- develop and issue a draft Annual Sector Monitoring Report which assesses the state of transformation in the Sector, measuring all dimensions of the MAC Sector Code including ownership, management and control, skills development, enterprise supplier development within 12 months from today;
- Be active and where necessary provide written inputs and verbal representation on various pieces of policy and legislation development by the GCIS and other Departments as it relates to black economic empowerment; and
- Account to Parliament regarding the state of transformation in the sector.
A word of appreciation also goes to all the companies in the MAC Sector that have not only embraced government’s agenda of transformation and economic inclusiveness, but have also taken significant strides to make it a reality by supporting emerging black businesses.
This has taken the form of technical support, skills development, mentorship, procurement and providing access to much needed capital.
We really appreciate your support.
Having referred to “The Council” throughout my presentation, I now have the special honour and pleasure of putting faces to names by introducing the members of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment MAC Sector Council and the sectors they represent.
- Academia, Prof Nicola Jones;
- Our regulator is Ms. Gail Schimmel;
- The out-of-home representative, Mr Angelo Tandy
- For Research Ms. Trish Guildford
- For Interactive Advertising Mr Veli Ngubane & Mr Andrew Allison
- For Advertising, Mr Sechaba Motsieloa & Ms. Kim Williams-Thipe
- From the Industry Association, Ms. Mathe Okaba and Ms. Lebohang Masilela
- For Public Relations and Lorries Company, Mr Tebogo Ditshego & Mr Preetesh Sewraj;
- From the Disability Sector Ms. Nonhlanhla Bakasa;
- For Organised Labour, Mr. Jako Nel and Ms. Princy Mthombeni;
- From Organised Business, Mr Groovin Nchabeleng
- Representing Civil Society Ms. Koo Govender; Ms. Shereen Jaftha; Mr Nkopane Maphiri and Mr Veli Zondi,
- And our Youth Members
We thank you for making yourselves available to serve in this transformation initiative and appreciate the time and thinking you will invest in moving this sector forward.
Your willingness to do this work is a demonstration of the spirit required for us to Grow South Africa Together.
I wish you well as you build a team around the Council boardroom table and as you devote yourself to serving our country.
I thank you.