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SACP: Break up Independent Newspapers

Jul 12 2012 18:06 Sapa

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Kwadlangezwa - Independent News & Media's South African operations should be broken up and not sold to a monopoly, SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.

He told about 2 000 delegates at the 13th national congress of the SACP near Empangeni that they should be opposed to media monopolies.

"Why are we not launching a campaign to de-monopolise? We see this (newspaper group) as too big."

He described Independent Newspapers as an "active opposition to government".

SACP deputy secretary general Jeremy Cronin told journalists the Irish owners of the group had been guilty of asset stripping its SA operations and that some "R500m has been shipped out of the country".

Both he and Nzimande said they would like to see more localised newsrooms rather than the current pooling of news gathering found in large media groups.

Nzimande said banks should be forced to invest in low-cost housing.

The state should move from merely regulating to actively directing the private sector, he told delegates at the party's elective conference near Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.

Delivering his political report, Nzimande said the state had to direct the private sector towards developmental outcomes and objectives.

"Legislation must be made to force South African banks to invest in low-cost housing. It is after all the money of the working class."

Nzimande said he had no doubt that the banks would oppose such measures but said that that the Financial Sector Charter had been a failure, especially since the government had been forced to guarantee bank investment in the poorer sectors of the community.

The Financial Sector Charter was adopted in 2004 as the financial service industry's contribution to social transformation.

It commits the industry to meeting a range of transformation targets, some of which, like broadening access to financial services, are uniquely applicable to the financial services.

Referring to government employees, Nzimande said that all public servants should declare their business interests and should in fact not work for government if they were in business.

"If you are in public service you can't be in business, if you are in business you can't be in public service; you must choose."

Currently, only those at the level of directors in the public service have to declare their interests.

Nzimande said that all public servants should have to declare their business interests.



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