The Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA) would like to clarify a statement made on City Press of 09 September 2012 regarding the supposed intention to take the SABC to the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) to defend its case of non-compliance following the report published by the Authority earlier this year and the one published by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) recently. The Authority does not have any intention to take up the matter with the CCC.
Firstly, the Authority cannot comment on the validity of the MMA report nor can it corroborate SABC non-compliance as purported in that report. The reason for this is that the report was not commissioned by ICASA and the Authority is not aware of the type of methodology used to by MMA to conclude that the SABC is not complying with its licence conditions. Obviously, the period sampled is different from the period sampled by the Authority, so the results are likely to be different because of the different variables and methodologies involved.
Secondly, compliance by licensees is the most integral part and legislative mandate of ICASA. It is for this reason that the Authority published the 2009/10 SABC Compliance Report earlier this year. This is a sample measured over a 6 months period, and depended on the availability of resources to the Authority. The findings could therefore not be conclusive because the measurements did not cover the whole year as required.
Ordinarily, recurrence of non-compliance with the licence terms and conditions results in a licensee being referred to the Complaints and Compliance Committee for adjudication.
The SABC’s compliance is measured as a weekly average over a period of a year, and where an issue of non-compliance is identified, the licensee would then be given an opportunity to respond to the Authority’s findings.