FNB apologises to ANC over youth ads

A screenshot from one of the FNB adverts that have sparked controversy. Picture: FNBTV via YouTube.
Bruce Whitfield speaks to Lucy Holborn from the SA Institute of Race Relations about the ANC, government & business.
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JOHANNESBURG - The ANC and First National Bank say the bank has now formally apologised to the ruling party for the ‘You Can Help’ television ad-campaign that saw young people making political comments about the country.

The campaign sparked outrage from the ANC, with the ruling party describing some clips as commercial masquerading as youth views, while its youth league called the campaign "treasonous".

FNB removed the link for the other ads when politicians expressed their anger towards what they called scripted and in-genuine views.

The two held a meeting at Luthuli House on Friday afternoon, in a meeting that provided for “constructive, robust and honest dialogue between both parties”. 

In a joint statement, the two organisations said First Rand CEO Sizwe Nxasana apologised to ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

They said he also said the incident was “regrettable” and would not be repeated.

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

The groups say the ANC told FNB that the clips served to de-legitimise the party and its 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 has now formally accepted the apology.

Please click here to read the full statement.