Has eNCA become a new public broadcaster after Ramaphosa grants channel exclusive rights to his address

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photographer : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photographer : Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Oct 29, 2023


SOUTH Africans have questioned whether eNCA has become the country’s public broadcaster after President Cyril Ramaphosa has granted it exclusive rights to his address on Monday.

On Sunday, presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, announced that the president will be addressing the nation via eNCA, which was given the privilege to broadcast the address while the SABC, a known public broadcaster and other government-affiliated media platforms, are set to receive the feed from eNCA.

“President Cyril Ramaphosa will tomorrow, 30 October 2023, address the nation. eNCA will provide a feed to all media and the Presidency will live stream the proceedings,“ Magwenya announced on social media.

However, many slammed the impression this statement creates in light of public v private interests being prioritised by the statement.

In a statement reacting to this announcement, the EFF slammed Ramaphosa’s decision as being tantamount to a “capture” of the president by private interests.

“The EFF condemns, in the strongest terms, the suspicious and dangerous decision by the SA Presidency to grant exclusive control to private broadcaster eNCA to address the nation by Cyril Ramaphosa.

“In a decision that represents the capture of the presidency of SA, of Cyril Ramaphosa as a person and a president, and a nefarious relationship between eNCA and the state, the Presidency spokesperson announced this afternoon that the entire media fraternity in South Africa will be provided a feed to the address scheduled for tomorrow, by eNCA.

“The decision is callous, arrogant and representative of a reciprocal relationship between eNCA and Cyril Ramaphosa. The EFF is of the firm belief that this is a reward and promotion of a private broadcaster that is embedded, and is backed by the funders of Cyril Ramaphosa,” the party said.

The EFF sees this decision as an attempt to repay one of the biggest shareholders of eNCA, Johan Rupert for having helped fund Ramaphosa’s presidential ambitions.

In 2019, The Sunday Independent detailed a long list of names of individuals and groups who donated funds to Ramaphosa’s CR17 Nasrec election campaign in 2017. One of the names in the list was that of business mogul, Johan Rupert.

The EFF is not the only party to have questioned the decision by the Presidency with radio personality Sizwe Dhlomo having also expressed his disappointment with the Presidency’s decision to broadcast Ramaphosa’s address on private broadcaster eNCA instead of the public broadcaster SABC.

But ke ngempela gents, why aren’t you using SABC to distribute the broadcast? Do you not see the message this sends?” Dhlomo asked X (formerly Twitter).

“So-called minister of sports telling us the so-called president will be addressing us through a privately owned media house should tell you who owns our government. Why must SABC be subjected to getting a link from the Rupert controlled eNCA?” another social media user asked.