Stats SA Stats SA suspends members of the media for a period of six months in event of embargo breach.
Breach of embargo: Gross domestic product (Quarter 4 of 2019)
March 11, 2020
Gauteng, South Africa: Some media houses at the release of the Gross domestic product statistical report at a press conference held in Pretoria, on 03 March 2020, demonstrated contempt towards the rules of engagement in relation to embargoed statistical data shared at a lock-up session. Two media agencies, Newzroom Afrika and You FM broke the embargo and publicly announced the results of the GDP Q4 of 2019 via their Twitter platforms prior to the embargo being lifted.
Due to the serious nature of this offence, Statistics South Africa has taken a position to suspend members of the media for a period of six months in the event of an embargo breach.
"Breaking embargo is an infringement that Statistics South Africa takes seriously, as it causes disharmony within the media space and gives an unfair advantage over other media agencies participating in the proceedings. More so, not adhering to stipulated agreements of the embargo is a violation of the spirit of the Statistics Act 6 of 1999 as well as the United Nations Fundamental Principles for Official Statistics," read the statement issued by GCIS on behalf of Stats SA.
"Stats SA understands the importance of lock-up sessions to give media sufficient time to interrogate the data to curb inaccuracies in reporting and operates on a relationship of trust with media to give them access to sensitive data. Events of this nature destroy the relationship that we have built with journalists over the years.
"We have the internal capacity to institute extensive measures to ensure that such digressions are eliminated, but have always believed that we operate within a professional media environment that respects their professional ethics and that of Stats SA. As a statistical agency, we recognise the global responsibility the media has to keep citizens informed. The right to information should be executed with the highest integrity and appreciation of regulations," read the statement.
Last modified onWednesday, 11 March 2020 10:33