ANC, DA spent millions on advertising
Tue, 02 Aug 2016 18:34:00
The two biggest political parties have spent a combined figure of over R50 million to promote their parties on television in an effort to garner more votes.
According to media research organisations, the African National Congress (ANC) spent R25 million mainly on free to air channels whilst the Democratic Alliance (DA) used close to R30 million between January and July this year.
There are two political parties driving the advertising spend in the 2016 municipal elections.
According to Nielson a media monitoring organisation, the DA and the ANC have spent more money on their advertising campaigns than any other political party.
The ANC has largely been spending on free to air channels including ETV and SABC 2. The ruling party used over R25 million to buy television airtime and over R5 million on other media platforms including radio and billboards.
On the other hand the DA spent over R29 million on television.
The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) budgeted almost half a million rand, whilst smaller parties like Congress of the People (Cope) spent over R200 000 to woo potential voters on the small screen.
Strategist at Base Media Jordan Griffiths says over the past number of years, political parties have increased their budget because of the different advertising platforms available.
“The overall trend in the elections when it comes to advertising space, generally parties will increase their spending. And that’s also because there is more media that you can spend on. So when we see that parties are spending more money we should not be surprised because we don’t have legislation that limits political spending in any way,” says Griffiths.
Griffiths says the advent of social media has also allowed political parties to reach more voters at a lower cost.
The overall trend in the elections when it comes to advertising space, generally parties will increase their spending. And that’s also because there is more media that you can spend on
“If you think about how we have progressed technologically, parties are not only going to spend on print media only. They now going to have sponsored Facebook pages, twitter pages with adverts that have been sponsored, adverts online. There was a YouTube video that I watched and before it played there was an ANC advert. So overall party spending has increase across the board,” says Griffiths.
Since the beginning of the year political parties in the country have spent over R70 million to attract more votes through various media platforms.
Often parties have to rely on companies and wealthy individuals to help fund their campaigns.
There have been calls from different organisations for political parties to disclose their sources of funding.
Currently, there is no legislation which requires political parties to disclose their funders.
Professor Kealeboga Maphunye says although parties are not obliged to disclose their funders, withholding such information from the public could give rise to conflict of interest and lack of accountability.
Judith February from the Institute for Security Studies says this might even lead to a situation where there is undue influence on certain policies.
Meanwhile, lobby group My Vote Counts is applying to the Western High Court to make provision for the disclosure of information regarding the private funding of political parties and independent ward candidates.