Call for more countries to promote media freedom

Friday, May 4, 2018

As South Africa joined the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day, on Thursday, government called on more countries to join in providing an enabling environment for the media to operate in their respective countries.

Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director General, Phumla 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.

World Press Freedom Day is aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the freedom and independence of the press by the United Nations General Assembly.

The South African government commends all countries, particularly African States that have repealed repressive laws against media freedom and paved the way to build democracy.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,” GCIS said.

Williams said South Africa works with institutions such as the Foreign Correspondents 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," she said. –

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