Bid to ‘unshackle’ Radio Lesotho, LTV

Bid to ‘unshackle’ Radio Lesotho, LTV

MASERU – THE government is working on a plan to transform Radio Lesotho and TV Lesotho “from being a captured state propaganda broadcaster into a national broadcaster”.  Finance Minister Moeketsi Majoro told parliament yesterday during his budget speech that this will be done so that there will be “equitable, fair and unbiased broadcasting”.

Majoro said this barely three weeks after Communications Minister Joang Molapo said there is need to put the state broadcaster in private hands.
Molapo was worried that Radio Lesotho and the television are often used by ruling party politicians to push a political goal.
Majoro told parliament that changing the state broadcaster and television station from being the government propaganda machines will coincide “with an investment in new equipment and broadcasting technologies”.

“M20 million will be invested in 2017/18 in sourcing local content for radio and television,” Majoro said.
“This government will, through investment over the next three years, foster the emergence of local production houses that can harness this talent, supported by local content licensing,” he said.

Majoro also said “the people of Lesotho should begin to see a return on their public investments in telecommunications and technology infrastructure”.  He bemoaned the general absence of Lesotho from the internet, saying it “impacts directly on our ability to sell Lesotho as a serious tourist or business destination”.

“The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology plans to install a fast, safe and reliable platform for all government telecommunications and internet services,” Majoro said.

“Government ministries, private business and individual citizens will all be assisted to develop a proper and significant web presence,” he said.
He sad E-government services, where Basotho can begin to receive educational materials, have access to health and consultative services and apply for enrolment at schools and tertiary institutions will be a reality in 2017-2018.

Majoro said during the current financial year, the Ministry of Communications will support the new innovation hub at the National University of Lesotho and develop a framework for the coordination of research across all areas of government.
“Following a realignment exercise to be undertaken in the next few months, the Ministry will increasingly focus on science and technology,” he said.
M120 million is proposed for the Ministry of Communications.

Staff Reporter

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