THE BLOG
02/02/2018 13:31 SAST | Updated 02/02/2018 13:31 SAST

'Removing ANN7 Is An Attack On Black Progress'

"Why not have a black television broadcasting corporation that talks about black news?"

The New Age and ANN7 proprietor Mzwanele Manyi during the announcement on the shareholding of his company Lodidox on August 30, 2017 in Johannesburg.
Alon Skuy/ The Times/ Getty Images
The New Age and ANN7 proprietor Mzwanele Manyi during the announcement on the shareholding of his company Lodidox on August 30, 2017 in Johannesburg.

COMMENT

The term "white monopoly capital", aka WMC, has restricted usage. But even in that restricted usage, there is no conclusive understanding of what it means.

I suppose the term WMC is derived from South Africa during apartheid, when capital was 100 percent in the hands of whites and blacks were left without it, thereby forcing black people to survive on the crumbs that fell from white tables.

The fashionable modern use of the term testifies to a belief that this aspect of South Africa is still persistent, even after more than 20 years since the death of apartheid.

Its application in the daily context has expanded to mean anything and everything that thwarts, blocks, suffocates or arrests the general flow of black progress in South Africa. In this sense, WMC – although it speaks of capital being monopolised by whites – refers to anything that inherently restricts or is subversive to the aspirations of black people.

WMC's latest manifestation is in the plan to close down ANN7 on the MultiChoice platform.

ANN7 is controlled and owned by a chief protagonist of black progress; president of the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) Mzwanele Manyi.

Getty Images
he New Age and ANN7 proprietor Mzwanele Manyi during the announcement on the shareholding of his company Lodidox on August 30, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

What is being attacked here is black progress -- and WMC has every reason to block Mzwanele Manyi, a sturdy and husky black-consciousness wonk, a man of action, determined to ensure radical transformation.

The media is largely responsible for "public opinion" on national issues. "Public opinion" is what is taken into consideration in making public policies.

"For long, media ownership in South Africa has been monopolised. Nothing fits the term 'white monopoly' like the South African media"

White opinion is most of the time packaged by the media as national news. ANN7 has rectified the problem of the white monopoly of media ownership and the generation of news. It provided a platform where issues affecting Africans are reflected in reasonable depth.

For long, media ownership in South Africa has been monopolised. Nothing fits the term "white monopoly" like the South African media.

ANN7 has come to be a strong platform, matching with eNCA toe-to-toe. To cut it down now is to promote eNCA, which is skewed to white aspirations, even though it projects a frontal image of being black.

What is the motive to cut down ANN7?

My suspicion is that ANN7 provides serious news. As a media platform purporting to serve black interests, some believe it should not generate serious in-depth news. Consider Sowetan TV, which is essentially a gospel TV.

Consider the emerging Destiny magazine – essentially picture spreads in which blacks who have good jobs have their pictures taken and a few positive words said about them. You cannot see well-written thought pieces on issues that really matter.

ANN7 has asked serious questions that have pricked WMC: is this all there is to black folks; to have pictures of them in magazines?

Why not have a black television broadcasting corporation that talks about black news?

Getty Images
The New Age and ANN7 proprietor Mzwanele Manyi during the announcement on the shareholding of his company Lodidox on August 30, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

I follow Mzwanele Manyi on his social media platform, and he clearly has a distinctive Africanist agenda that can be seen as a threat by some. His philosophical view is that as of yesterday, there should be an African-oriented media that talks about the black agenda, aggregates black public opinion and feeds it to the nation.

Things have to change, and ANN7 is shaking things. Mzwanele Manyi is known to be a man of action who walks his talk.

ANN7 already had a larger national footprint than eNCA – its coverage of provinces is superb, not confined to the big cities alone.

It is an enjoyable analytical TV; it is doing a great service.

And that is the reason there is outrage. People are really pissed off by MultiChoice. People are angry with the latest manifestation of the WMC offensive.

* Opinions expressed in blogs are not necessarily those of HuffPost