Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Local Gov't Minister orders reversal of Hanover Municipal Corporation media ban

Published:Wednesday | November 8, 2017 | 12:13 PM
McKenzie said the meeting of the Physical Planning, Environment and Development Committee must be exposed to the presence of the media and to the public.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has ordered the immediate reversal of a media ban imposed by the Hanover Municipal Corporation.

The Corporation's Chief Executive Officer, David Gardner, declared yesterday morning ahead of the sitting of the Physical Planning, Environment and Development Committee‎ that the media would be banned from all future committee meetings.

The sitting, held once a month, examines matters like building permit applications and infrastructure ‎works.

The decision to block media coverage of committee meetings followed backlash faced by the municipal corporation over certain comments uttered at the September planning meeting which were reported in a newspaper article‎.

However, in a media release this morning, McKenzie said the meeting of the Physical Planning, Environment and Development Committee must be exposed to the presence of the media and to the public.

He said only the Human Resources and Poor Relief Committees were exempted.

McKenzie says the action of the municipal corporation is unacceptable.

The Local Government Minister says that the government is committed to press freedom and political actors at all levels will have to recognise this as a matter of policy.