Discourses on Political Advertising in South Africa: A Social Media Reception Analysis

  • Siyasanga M. TyaliEmail author
  • Rofhiwa F. Mukhudwana


Political advertisements have now become common in South Africa. This chapter discusses the political campaign advertisement officially perceived to be negative and banned. During South Africa’s fifth national elections in 2014, the political advertisement titled ‘i-ANC Ayisafani’ (the ANC is no longer the same) was perceived as negative and consequently banned by the South African Public Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The advert portrays the then Democratic Alliance’s (DA) spokesperson and now leader (Mmusi Maimane) making serious corruption and maladministration claims against the governing ANC. Using the reception theory, this chapter specifically focuses on the reception of the advert on the YouTube page on which it has been widely made available. The findings from our analysis illustrates that social media plays an important role as an ‘uncensored virtual’ public sphere. On the positive, the advertisement elicited rigorous debates about the state of governance and political party loyalty in South Africa and resulted in a Streisand effect. On the negative, it confirms that negative political advertising sometimes works against the sponsoring candidates by engendering support for a target candidate.


Advertising Political communication DA ANC SABC YouTube 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication ScienceUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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