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Govt allocates almost R60 million to Covid-19 ad campaign – but has only paid 18% so far

Covid-19 South Africa

(Photo by Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

  • Government has approved orders of R59 million to be spent on a Covid-19 advertising and awareness campaign.
  • While R47.3 million worth of invoices have already been received, only R10.7 million has been paid, according to the minister in the presidency.
  • The largest share of the budget has gone towards television ads, with the national broadcaster bagging over R23 million across TV and radio.
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Government has allocated almost R60 million to a multimedia advertising campaign to create Covid-19 awareness.

The Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS) revealed financial details of its extensive R59 million advertising campaign aimed at educating the public about the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday. 

The GCIS targeted over 60 radio stations, at least four television broadcasters and more than 22 billboard and wall mural suppliers.

By 12 March 2021, government had paid R10.7 million to its media suppliers and had received invoices totalling R47.3 million, representing 80% of the total allocated advertising budget.

The bulk of these approved orders (36.8%) were for television broadcasters with radio accounting for 28%. A total of R13.3 million had been reserved for outdoor advertising, while production and creative agencies had been allocated R6 million.

These line items were detailed in reply to a parliamentary question directed to Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the acting Minister in the Presidency, by Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Zovuyo Veronica Mente.

The SABC scored the lion’s share of government’s advertising spend, with R12.5 million allocated to its TV channels and R11 million to its primary and community radio stations.

“Of the R22,818,029 spent on television broadcasters, R9,580,374 was spent on black media owners which translates to 41% of the total television budget,” noted Ntshavheni in a written reply to Mente.

“Furthermore, R12,499,355 of the R22,818,029 was spent on free to air and public broadcasters which translates to 54% of the television budget.”

More than half of the R6 million production budget was spent on developing video adverts for both TV and social media.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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