Media release

South Africa celebrates World Press Day

03 May 2018

3 May 2018

The 3rd of May is a day set aside around the globe to commemorate World Press Freedom Day and to raise awareness of the importance of the freedom and independence of the press by the United Nations General Assembly.

South Africa joins the rest of the world in the commemoration and remembers those journalists that have died in the line of duty and fighting for press freedom.  The South African government commends all countries, particularly African States that have repealed repressive laws against media freedom and paved the way to build democracy. Freedom of the press, a Constitutional guarantee in South Africa, is an imperative in building a transparent and accountable democratic State.  South Africa ranks third among African nations and 28th on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

Acting GCIS Director General, Phumla Williams, said: “We work hand-in-hand with institutions such as the Foreign Correspondence Association; the South African National Editors Forum, and the Freedom of Expression Institute, amongst other platforms, to ensure that freedom of the media prevails in South Africa.  This  relationship with the media is paramount as it is one of the pillars in enhancing our democracy" .

Williams said Governments have a responsibility to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  As we mark this day, we call on more countries to join in providing an enabling environment for the media to operate in their respective countries.

Ms Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by Government Communication and Information System

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