Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Phillip Makgalemele, yesterday told Parliament that contrary to wide speculation, the government has not withdrawn advertising in the private newspapers.
However Members of Parliament Noah Salakae and Pius Mokgware argued that Sunday Standard has been blacklisted as it received only P10,662 from a total of P4,388,698 spent on private newspapers in the 2014/15 financial year.
“The criteria used to select newspapers by government has been determined by individual ministries on a case-by-case basis. It may however, be noted that all newspapers receiving government advertising should have a trading licence, tax clearance and PPADB registration,” he said.
Makgalemele was responding to a question from Gantsi North Member of Parliament Salakae who wanted to know the amount spent by government on advertising in each private local newspaper for the financial year 2014/15. Salakae also wanted to know whether there are any newspapers that are blacklisted from advertising by government and the reasons for denying them business.
Early this year media reports alleged that government issued a secret directive to its various ministries and parastatals to stop advertising in some private newspapers and radio stations considered to be critical of government.