25 January 2013

South Africa: Joint Statement of the ANC and FNB On the 'You Can Help' Interview Clips

Photo: SAnews.gov.za
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga (left).

press release

The African National Congress and First National Bank met today to discuss the FNB ‘You Can Help campaign’ whose online postings raised objections which tarnished the image of the ANC and its Government. The meeting provided for constructive, robust and honest dialogue between both parties.

The ANC pointed out in the meeting that the clippings were a deliberate posting on FNB website to attack the ANC and it fed into the opposition narrative that seeks to project the ANC and its government in a negative manner. The ANC further asserted that the clippings were meant to delegitimize the ANC and it's government particularly amongst the youth. It was further pointed out that the clipping had a negative impact on business confidence and may undermine the objectives of promoting investment into the country. The ANC indicated that its leadership and membership were strongly raising a question why the organisation should continue to bank with a bank that has adopted an oppositional stance to it. The ANC strongly objected to the characterization of its objections as based on misunderstanding the intentions of the advertising campaign by the bank.

The CEO of FirstRand, Mr. Sizwe Nxasana, agreed that the research clippings that were posted online were regrettable, he apologized for the posting of the research clippings online. He then assured the meeting that this regrettable incident will not be repeated.

Mr Nxasana explained the objectives of their youth campaign and stressed that it is meant to inspire all South Africans to work together by helping one another. He explained that it was never the intention of FNB to play politics.

The African National Congress, led by Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe accepted the apology and the show of regret by FNB. The ANC expressed its support for the objectives of the FNB ‘You Can Help’ campaign to inspire all South Africans to work together in helping to build a better South Africa.

FNB expressed its commitment to the National Development Plan in addressing the areas of poverty, inequality and unemployment in our country.

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