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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has noted recent media reports about the SABC cancelling a current affairs studio interview before it went on air earlier this week. The Metro FM programme was to involve a panel discussion with some journalists regarding developments in the run-up to the ANC Mangaung conference to be held in a week’s time.

The Authority has requested the SABC to provide facts related to this incident with the purpose of determining whether the incident referred to constitute a violation of its licence terms and conditions as well as the SABC Editorial Policy.

In addition, the Authority has requested the SABC to provide the recordings of the Metro FM programme concerned, subsequent to which the Authority will apply its mind to determine its next course of action.

The Authority gave the SABC until Tuesday, 11 December 2012, to respond to the matter.

 

Issued by ICASA

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ICASA SHUTS DOWN MAGARENG FM.

Posted by radio On December - 8 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has received a Court Order to close down Magareng FM, a community radio station in the Northern Cape today for broadcasting without a valid service and frequency spectrum licences, thereby contravening the Electronic Communications Act.

Magareng FM applied to the Authority for a Community Sound Broadcasting Service licence in October 2008 to provide a broadcasting service within the Magareng Municipality in the Northern Cape. Magareng FM’s application was considered and processed by the Authority; and was subsequently granted a Five Year Community Sound Broadcasting licence. The licence was therefore not issued due to the fact the Magareng FM had to comply with pre-licencing terms and conditions, one of which was the registration certificate as a non-profit entity. The station was informed about the Authority’s decision on 25 March 2009.

Magareng FM supplied the Authority with a certificate of registration as a non-profit organization and a copy of their constitution. In considering Magareng FM’s constitution for compliance with the pre-licencing terms and conditions, the following were noted:

  1. That the constitution does not address the quorum for the Annual General Meeting as stated in the Authority’s letter dated 25 March 2009;

  2. That the constitution does not address appeal process as stated in the Authority’s letter dated 25 March 2009; and that the constitution which was lodged with the Department of Social Development is not the same as the one that was considered by the Authority when the registration for a class community sound broadcasting service was approved.

 Based on the above concerns, the Authority’s Licensing Unit was of the view that Magareng FM has not complied with its pre-licensing conditions as outlined in the Authority’s letter dated 25 March 2009, and as a result cannot recommend that Magareng Community Radio be issued with a Class Community Sound Broadcasting Service licence, until such conditions are fulfilled.

In the interest of wanting to assist the station to comply with the conditions and commence with the broadcasting service, the Authority paid the station a visit and it was discovered that Magareng FM is providing an illegal broadcasting services on 90.7 MHz to the community in Warrenton without broadcasting service and frequency spectrum licences as required by the Electronic Communications Act.

The Authority decided to send a letter to the station on 30th October 2012 requesting them to desist from an illegal broadcast and informing them to stop broadcasting within fourteen (14) days of the date of the letter. Following receipt of the letter, the station’s management requested a meeting with the Authority to find a solution to the matter. The Authority agreed to have the meeting but Magareng FM’s management failed to attend the meeting they requested.

 All the attempts to assist the station to comply and to find a solution to the matter have been exhausted by the Authority and Magareng FM is still broadcasting without a community sound broadcasting service licence and a spectrum licence, despite the instruction to desist from the action and is therefore in contravention of the ECA and ICASA Act. The Authority has therefore confiscated the broadcasting equipment used by the station to provide an illegal broadcasting service.

Issued by ICASA

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Digital Migration plan comes under fire from etv

Posted by radio On November - 6 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

 

On the 1st of November, ICASA held public hearings concerning the proposed frequency migration plan. The plan proposes a large-scale migration of TV broadcasters from the spectrum bands they are assigned as part of the digital migration process. Broadcasters made recommendations in which they addressed some of their concerns.

Although in support of the digital migration, free to air broadcasters like etv have rallied against the proposed changes to the frequency migration plan. The migration plan presents a challenge to their sustainability. Broadcasters are particularly concerned at the absence of policy inquiry into the future needs of terrestrial broadcasting and its implication on business.  In a statement, etv’s Chief Executive Officer Marcel Golding says that given the significant impact such a plan would have on the business of free-to-air broadcasters, the channel expects the plan to be carefully developed.

The much desired 790MHz to 862MHz and 694MHz to 790MHz bands (termed Digital Dividend 1 and 2 respectively) are currently occupied by terrestrial broadcasting services. ICASA states that these bands will be vacated by 2015. Golding further stated that following analogue switch-off it must be guaranteed that at least one full DTT multiplex that will replicate the channel’s position in the analogue environment or be compensated for the loss of spectrum.

Without defined entitlements after analogue switch-off, broadcasters will be thrown into an environment where they are unable to explore additional services such as HD and 3D. This will impact on their ability to compete against TV-like services delivered over new technologies. The channel has also stated that it supports the release of a digital dividend as it understands that broadband and mobile telecommunications has an important role in South Africa’s development.  e.tv has made a recommendation to ICASA to consider making it clear that the rights of existing analogue broadcasters concerning the digital dividend will be considered at a later stage in a separate consultative process.

Issued by e.tv

 

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Icasa’s Stakeholders Engagement Roadshow

Posted by radio On November - 6 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Since last month, ICASA has been engaging its stakeholders across the country through meetings and presentations of its 2012-2017 Strategy Plan to the National Community radio Forum (NCRF) and the South African Communications Forum. The road show also engaged postal, broadcasting, electronic communications services, electronic communications network licensees and radio frequency spectrum licensees in the Cape Peninsular and Kwa-Zulu Natal province. The ICASA Stakeholders Engagement Road-show is an attempt to address the shortcomings of previous stakeholders’ meetings that were held in Johannesburg, and were out of reach for smaller licensees and operators outside the Gauteng province.

In a statement, ICASA made clear its intention to reach out to other interested groups and formations that are not necessarily licensed entities but play an important role in the electronic communications sector. This includes the South African Revenue Services and the South African Police Services.  National, provincial and local governments play an important role with regard to the lay-out of communications infrastructure and the need for it to meet pressing socio-economic and developmental goals to achieve universal access and service will also be engaged. Other associations include the Internet Service Providers Association and the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association. On the broadcasting front, the Authority also plans to reach out to associations representing broadcasting licensees and content producers such as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) and the South African Screen Federation (SASFED).

ICASA’s stakeholders’ engagement plan seeks to complement public awareness road-shows conducted in conjunction with the Department of Communications and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications that are targeting grassroots communities across the country. The Authority’s plan does not exclude established and incumbent licensees who are often in a position to request and hold bilateral meetings with the authority when required.

Issued by ICASA

 

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The Department of Communications will be hosting the National Community Radio Governance Indaba in Polokwane, Limpopo Province from the 20 – 26 September 2012.

 

The main objective of the Indaba is to capacitate community radio stations on governance issues and promote adherence to corporate governance and regulatory compliance. The Indaba is part of an ongoing capacity building programme by the Department to empower stations to develop and implement corporate governance systems. Essential to this system are accountability and reporting to the communities that these stations exist to serve.

 

The last Indaba was hosted in 2007 in Durban and it focused on sustainability. This year’s theme is corporate governance as key to sustainability. In brief, no sustainability can be possible without a robust corporate governance culture. This is based on lessons learnt since 2007 that despite huge investment into the sector by the government, the sector is still wobbling owing mainly to governance challenges.

 

Over 200 delegates from the broader community radio sector are expected to attend, including the community radio stations, the regulator, Members of Parliament and sector bodies.

 

Details are as follows:
Date:    20 – 26 September 2012
Venue: Protea Hotel,
The Ranch, Polokwane,
Limpopo Province

 

To confirm attendance please contact Keitumetse Hlahatsi on Keitumetse@doc.gov.za or 0829223376.

 

For Media Enquiries please contact Busiswa Mlandu at Busiswa@doc.gov.za or on 0720706896.

 

Issued by:
Department of Communications
18 September 2012

 

Source: ICASA

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ICASA Rectifies City Press Report

Posted by radio On September - 14 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

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.

 

Source: ICASA

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Digital Terrestrial Television Public Hearings

Posted by radio On September - 5 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) invites all interested stakeholders and the media to the public hearings regarding the eTV submission and presentation to the revised set of Draft Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) regulations that have been published for a final round of public consultation.

 

The Authority would also like to inform all stakeholders that took part in the 21 – 23 August 2012 public hearings that it has decided to extend the date of their supplementary submissions within seven (7) days after the eTV’s presentation.

 

The purpose of conducting public hearings is to promote administrative justice in the development of regulations for the electronic communications sector.

 

There are two main changes to the regulations on which ICASA would particularly like to hear the views of the public. The Authority is proposing to use the second Mobile Digital Terrestrial Television multiplex as a third DTT multiplex during the dual illumination period to accommodate new entrants; and to stimulate the uptake of DTT services, foster content and enhance consumer choice.

 

This is in response to the Amended Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy of 17 February 2012 in which the Minister of Communications directs ICASA ‘to explore how best to introduce new services and licensees’ while ensuring that the digital migration process gives priority to incumbent broadcasters.

 

Secondly, the Authority is also proposing the formation of a Digital Television Content Advisory Group to advise on the most effective ways to ensure the supply of digital television content to encourage consumers to acquire set-top boxes in order to begin viewing digital television services.

 

The Authority has since received twenty (20) submissions from interested parties on the Draft DTT Regulations, seventeen (17) of which have indicated their willingness to make oral representations.

 

Date:      06 September 2012

Time:     10h00am

Venue:  Block C Presentation Room,
Pinmill Farm,
164 Katherine Street,
Sandton

 

For Enquiries contact:   Jubie Matlou – Sen Manager Communications and International Relations

Tel: 011 566 3455

Mobile: 082 376 0015

Email: jmatlou@icasa.org.za

Source: https://www.icasa.org.za/AboutUs/ICASANews/tabid/630/tag/Public%20Hearings/Default.aspx

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