The Commodification of Political Advertising on Television during the 2009 General Elections in South Africa

Sibongile Sindane


The research on which this article is based reports the extent to which political advertising on television commodifies politics in South Africa. Thus, this paper illustrates the commodification process of political advertising on television during the 2009 general elections. A critical political economy of political advertising and an inductive thematic content analysis were used to interpret the data collected. Altogether, the data were collected through document analysis and a self-administered questionnaire. A sample was employed and the findings showed that the issue of commodification in politics was prominent in the political advertisements on television during the 2009 election period. The conclusion made is that political advertising on television commodifies politics to a large extent. This is evident in the financial demands related to the production, access, as well as the distribution of the advertisements.

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