Provision of information in South Africa: issues of bias, access, transparency and accountability

30 Jan 2017

The purpose of the paper is to theorize the provision of information on the basis of bulletins: through broadcasts (televisions and radios), newspapers, reports, billboards among others, in the relative majority of rural areas. The reality on government published documents and studies of public accountability and transparency depicts an argument in terms of the dissemination of information. The disparities of who, why and when to receive information, remains a very complex and challenging issue for government officials and different organisations. From the national government cascading down to local governments, information can be skewed to who should receive it. Not in terms of the necessity but with the fact that some places are considered eligible in accessing information. Thus, different characteristics of urban and rural settings can radiate and determine the instigations in terms of bias of information in that regard. Many people from rural areas are often sidelined and overlooked in terms of the dissemination of information. Rated as illiterate and undeserving, relative majority of rural people are often confronted with plethora of challenges in terms of accessing full and equal information. Conversely, people perceived to be deserving full information and deemed literate, perhaps in urban, semi-urban areas and townships, are often rebellious than people in rural areas. The paper posits that it is not obvious that all rural people cannot read and write, so they also need information to engage in any related issues affecting their lives. The paper argues that lack of transparency and fairness in disseminating information results in bias and impinging access to information for rural people. Notwithstanding, another main aspect that could hinder access to information is non-electrified rural communities. Theoretically, the paper explores the accountability and transparency with regard to biasness of dissemination of information in South Africa.