ANC councillors in Msunduzi Municipality took aim at the mainstream media for "unfair reporting" about the council, as they rammed through a proposal to spend more than half a million rand of ratepayers’ money in airtime slots on Ukhozi FM where the city could tell its "positive stories".
The proposal was, however, slammed by opposition parties as meaningless attempts to counter negative publicity.
The city is planning to spend about R550 000 on 5-minute slots over the next 12 months where the mayor Themba Njilo could address the country about the Msunduzi Municipality.
Senior ANC councillors in the municipality said they were extremely unhappy with the negative reports by local newspapers and felt it was necessary for the municipality to tell its side.
"We are not happy about the type of news coverage we have been receiving, they are distorting the facts," said Deputy Mayor Thobani Zuma.
"We are a capital city and we should understand that and reach that audience. These addresses will also provide an opportunity for the city to attract investors," said Municipal Manager Sizwe Hadebe.
His position was ridiculed by DA councillor Jerome Majola. "I do not want to undermine Ukhozi FM or its audience but honestly, where does its listenership and investment meet? If you want to attract investors to the city, we know the kind of people that we should be addressing.
"If the members of this council feel that the media had been reporting untruths, they should take legal action against such reporting.”
IFP councillor Thinasonke Ntombela said it would be inappropriate for the city to spend so much money to counter negative publicity.