regulation

South Africans Challenged to Fight for Press Freedom

Former Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has challenged South Africans to mobilise the spirit that made the soccer World Cup work to fight for press freedom.

Tutu, who is set to retire from public life in October, made the call in an unscripted speech at the Institute for Democracy, Idasa, in Cape Town.

Tutu challenged the opponents of the African National Congress' proposals for media controls to fight back, adding that, “This is your country and it is going to become what you allow it to be."

Jordan Warns ANC Over Media Bill

Freedom of expression, of which media freedom is an important dimension, is one of the fundamental rights South Africans secured through the democratic political revolution of 1994. This is according to the African National Congress (ANC) veteran, Dr Pallo Jordan.

Jordan says The ANC has a long track record of commitment to media freedom, adding that in defending a free media, “We are defending the ANC's own rich heritage, the heritage bequeathed to us by those 19th century pioneers.”

DA Hails Vavi Over Media Bill

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has welcomed Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi’s denouncing of the draft Protection of Information Bill and its implications for media freedom and freedom of expression in the country.

Govt Worried at Media Freedom Coverage – Maseko

Government spokesperson, Themba Maseko, says the negative international coverage of South Africa’s perceived intention to restrict the freedom of the press and expression is increasingly concerning the government.

Maseko points out that a top-level meeting between the government and senior editors needed to be held as soon as possible to take the debate on media regulation further, adding that attempts are underway to set a date for the meeting.

Bill Threat to Media Freedom – M&G Editor

Newspapers like the Mail & Guardian that expose corruption, mismanagement, hypocrisy and gross incompetence would not be able to do their work if the Protection of Information Bill came into force in its current form. This is according to its editor-in-chief, Nic Dawes.

Dawes has described the Bill as the biggest legislative threat yet to freedom of information in general and to the work of journalists in particular.

FXI Comments on the Rasool Saga

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has warned that former Western Cape premier, Ibrahim Rasool, saga could compromise media independence.

FXI executive director, Ayesha Kajee, is of the view that the allegations raise serious questions about journalistic integrity.

According to reports a former newspaper journalist has admitted that he and a senior colleague were paid to assist the former Western Cape Premier against political rivals.

FXI Appoints New Executive Director

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has appointed political analyst, Ayesha Kajee, as its new executive director.

In a press statement, Kajee points out that her appointment comes at a time when rapid advances in information and communication technology posed opportunities and threats.

Kajee says she is looking forward to ‘strategically expanding’ the FXI's project base and building its profile as a regional leader in championing and protecting freedom of expression and associated rights.

New Chairperson for ICASA

Communications minister, Siphiwe Nyanda, has announced a new chairperson of communications regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to replace Paris Mashile whose five-year term expired.

Nyanda commended Mashile for navigating ‘most complex’ issues such the Mobile Termination Rates, Mobile Television and Digital Terrestrial Television, during his term as ICASA chairperson.

ICASA in Hot Seat Over Applications

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa is in the hot seat over its handling of licence applicationsThe Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is in the hot seat over its handling of a licence application, this time for hotly contested commercial radio licences in Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban.

South Africa’s Mobile TV Delayed Again

South Africans will have to wait a while longer for the country’s first mobile television. The deadline for applications for the first four licences was 7 May.

The licence was supposed to be awarded in time for the World Cup, but instead of sorting the applications, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has been reported to the Public Protector by one of the applicants for procedural impropriety.

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