media regulation

Information Bill Unconstitutional – Lawmakers

Lawmakers have warned again that the Protection of Information Bill will not survive Constitutional Court scrutiny because it rides roughshod over media freedom and the democratic values of transparency and accountability.

Dario Milo, a partner at Webber Wentzel law firm making a representation on behalf of Print Media South Africa, points out that, "The ones (clauses) I have highlighted are clearly unconstitutional and the Constitutional Court would strike them down."

SANEF Rejects the Proposed Tribunal

The South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF) has expressed its ‘strong rejection’ of renewed proposals for a state-appointed tribunal and a growing slate of new legislation that is ‘hostile’ to the free flow of information to South Africans.

In a statement following its annual general meeting in Johannesburg, SANEF points out that the proposed tribunal will go against the existing system of self-regulation which involves the media and members of the public, and will be unconstitutional.

ICASA Challenged Over Mobile TV License

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) could face legal action if it does not reconsider its decision to give companies just three weeks to apply for the new digital mobile television service licence.

The latest comes after black-owned Mobile TV Consortium wrote to ICASA chairperson, Paris Mashile, objecting to the 7 May deadline.

FXI Calls for Protection of Confidential Sources

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has asked the South African Law Reform Commission to investigate amending section 205 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA) to introduce a "shield law" to protect confidential journalistic sources and information.

In a press statement, the organisation says the recent debacle over issuing subpoenas calling for two e.tv journalists to divulge their sources and confidential information highlighted the controversial point at which conflicting rights collide and the manner in which section 205 is abused.

South Africa’s Digital TV Delayed

South Africa's transition from analogue television broadcasts to digital broadcasts has been postponed by possibly two years or even longer.

The reason was that the country’s television industry and the digital Set Top Boxes (STBs) that viewers would have to purchase to watch TV in future, will not be ready in time.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) recently published the final digital migration regulations for the transitional process from digital terrestrial TV (DTTV) in the government gazette.

SABC Board Behind New Boss

SABC board members have scorned weekend reports suggesting there is a rift between the new board and the ­public broadcaster’s new chief executive, Solly Mokoetle.

According to a Sunday Times report the new board is set to challenge Mokoetle’s appointment by the SABC’s interim board.

The Sunday Times quoted anonymous board members saying they would act on the Gobodo findings, allegedly that Mokoetle had failed in his corporate governance duties.

New Bill to Scrap TV Licences

The Department of Communications has submitted the Public Service Broadcasting Bill, which seeks to abolish television licences and introduce other changes to public broadcasting in South Africa.

The bill, should it be approved, will establish a Public Service Broadcasting Fund and also establish an international broadcasting services division within the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) and transfer Channel Africa to this new operating unit.

Maake on Hunger Strike Against SABC

Actor-director Sello Maake ka Ncube is going hungry for 30 days to protest the way government and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have been spending the public’s money.

Maake, who joined a growing group of media professionals whose stated aim is to use the hunger strike to shame the SABC into getting its act together, believes South Africans are starving for local content.

Maake says he had to take a stand because the public broadcaster is abusing the African culture.

SABC Denies Suspension Reports

The interim board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has denied rumours that four executives had been suspended in connection with fraud and mismanagement highlighted in an auditor-general’s report.

The board was reacting to reports emanating from within the SABC that Robin Nicholson (chief financial officer), Mvuzo Mbebe (group executive: content enterprises), Mabela Satekge (head: procurement) and Anton Heunis (head: audience services) have been suspended.

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