There are 19 million children in South Africa

12 million of them live below the poverty line – on less than R570 a month* 

But are local politicians’ plans for helping our children making the headlines ahead of polling day?

Join us on Wednesday 20th April as Anthony Ambrose (World Vision International) and Joan Van Niekerk (Child Line) team up with MMA to explain why they should be – and offer critical questions to make candidates accountable!

Mudslinging might sell papers, and political promises are easy to make, but how do we escape the usual electioneering, so voters can really hold candidates accountable?

So far promises of a free pass to heaven and monkey moves have made the headlines – but are these really helpful to voters?

That children bare the brunt of poverty in South Africa is something which politicians must tackle if society is to improve. But no-one wants empty promises. They don’t educate anyone, they don’t deliver real change, and they won’t sell papers.

But what if we identify areas where politicians could and should be making a difference?

What if journalists ask each of the candidates for the specifics of what they’re planning to do?

Would these quantifiable commitments help voters decide who they want in office?

Could these answers make the headlines, and facilitate election debates?

We want to find out.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and MediaMattersZA are teaming up with the Leadership and Innovation Network for Collaboration in the Children’s Sector (LINC), The Daily Maverick and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) to launch the first of three ‘Piercing the Promises – Election Accountability Packs’ for journalists.

This ‘Election Accountability Pack’ was drawn up with the help of a panel of experts to address issues affecting children, political shortcomings in providing services for our youngest citizens, and potential room for improvements at municipality level.

If journalists want to secure measurable targets from campaigning candidates on real issues affecting voters – and their children – this pack will help.

It will be released at a ‘tweet-up’, where the pack’s pros, cons and possibilities can be explored, by journalists, advocates and citizens.

For the first time, you can join us, either in person or on twitter as we discuss whether children are or should be on the election agenda, and how the media can make that happen.

Time: 12pm
Date: Wednesday 20th April 2011
Location: 9 Jubilee Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193
Hashtags: #MMAEAP
Follow: mediamattersza

For more information contact:

Laura Fletcher
Advocacy Officer
Media Monitoring Africa
(formerly: Media Monitoring Project)
Tel: +2711 788 1278
Fax: +2711 788 1289
Cell: +2773 0463404

Watch out for more events in the coming weeks:

MMA, MediaMattersZA, IAJ and The Daily Maverick are teaming up with expert partners to launch three “Piercing the Promises – Election Accountability Tools”
20th April 2011: Children – An Election Issue?
4th May 2011: Service Delivery – An Election Issue?
11th May 2011: Gender – An Election Issue?