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Johannesburg – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa hereby notifies all interested stakeholders, applicants and media that the Authority is currently finalizing the analysis of applications, representations and responses in respect of the licensing of new Individual Commercial Broadcasting (Primary and Secondary Markets) and Subscription Broadcasting Services licensing processes.

 

In terms of the draft strategic plan which was recently presented to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Communications, the Authority plans to conduct public hearings and decide on the applications in the second quarter of the current financial year i.e. July to September 2013.

 

On 02 February 2012, the Authority published the Invitations To Apply (ITA) for Primary Markets on Medium Wave (MW) frequencies (Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban), Secondary Markets (Eastern Cape, Free State and Northern Cape) as well as Subscription Broadcasting Services. Subsequently, the Authority received requests for extension of the closing date of the ITA for Secondary Market which was granted.

 

The Authority received applications and dealt with related procedural matters relating to the applications including the requests for confidentiality in terms of the relevant legislation; and published received applications on 07 December 2012 for interested parties to make written representations and for applicants to provide responses for a period of 51 days. The Authority has received written representations and some responses in respect of this process.

 

In lieu of the above process, the Authority would like to inform the public and applicants that this licensing process is still on track and that the details of the hearings and/or the process will be communicated in due course.

 

[Issued by: Icasa]

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[Issued by:Icasa]

 

The Authority hereby gives notice of public hearings in relation to application by On-Digital Media (Pty) Ltd (ODM), BROADCASTING AS Top TV for the authorisation of three video channels lodged in terms of regulation 3 of the Subscription Broadcasting Services Regulations of 2006.

The public hearings will be held as follows:

Venue:             Block C, ICASA, 164 Katherine Street, 
                             Pinmill Farm, Sandton, Gauteng.
Hearing Date: Thursday, 14 March 2013.

TIME

ITEM

PRESENTER

09h00-09h30 OPENING ADDRESS ICASA
09h30-10h00 Presentation-Channel Authorisation Top TV
 10h00-10h15 REPRESENTATIONSFamily Policy Institute PRESENTERPastor Errol Naidoo
10h15-10h30 African Christian Democratic Party Pasela Linda Yates
10h30-10h45 Free Society Institute Mr Jacques R
10h45-11h00 Doctors For Life Mr Coltman
11h00-11h15 Africa Christian Action Representative
11h15-11h30 South African Society for Sexuality Education Dr Nelia Louw

11h30-11h45

TEA BREAK

11h45-12h00 Shofar Christian Church Mr J Janse van Rensburg
12h00-12h15 Free Society Institute Active for Jesus Mr Kent Solomons
12h15-12h30 WoomaNetRadio Free Society Institute Mr van Heerden

12h30-13h30

LUNCH BREAK

13h30-14h15 RESPONSES Top TV
14h15-15h15 Questions and Answers ICASA
15h15-15h20 CLOSING ICASA

For more information, see ‘On-Digital Media’ Gazette No. 36204.

 

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ALGOA FM’S PLAN FOR THE NEWS IN ICASA’S HANDS

Posted by radio On January - 10 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kgomotso Moncho]

 

Umoya Communications recently applied for a change in their license conditions. And in their general notice, in the Government Gazette on December 19, 2012, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) acknowledged in terms of section 10(2) of the Electronic Communication Act No 36 of 2005 (“the Act”) the receipt of an application by Umoya Communications (PTY) Ltd, broadcasting as Algoa FM, for the amendment of its license conditions in terms of section 10(1) of the Act.

 

Algoa FM proposes the amendments to its broadcasting service license to broadcast at least 30 minutes of news on average per day calculated across a seven day period from Monday to Sunday, instead of being obliged to broadcast at least 30 minutes of news everyday from Monday to Sunday. Speaking on behalf of the station, Algoa FM’s Managing Director, Dave Tiltmann said, “Algoa FM took a decision to reduce their amount of news to be broadcasted on the weekend for a number of reasons including; firstly to improve its news service during the working week by increasing the number of news bulletins during the working week and particularly local and regional news content; and from an editorial point of view; to address a lower flow of news on the weekends. At the same time as reducing news coverage over weekends, Algoa FM has decided to increase news coverage during the week. The net result is that Algoa FM will exceed its current obligation to broadcast 30 minutes of news per day by more than 15 minutes per day across five days during the week and will only provide 10 minutes of less news per day over a weekend.”

 

ICASA’s general notice stipulates that the application is available for interested parties during the Authority’s normal office hours at the ICASA library, Block D, Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton. Interested persons are invited to make written representations on the proposed amendments to the Authority within 21 days of the publication of this notice in the Government Gazette.

 

Those who submit representations are required to provide proof to the satisfaction of the Authority that a copy of the representations submitted has been delivered by hand to Dave Tiltmann, at Shop 2, The Boardwalk, Marine Drive, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth 6001 or sent by registered post t P.O Box 5973, Walmer, 6065, or faxed to 041 583 1575.

 

Algoa FM is entitled to respond in writing to written representations made by interested persons on the proposed amendments. Any such written response must be submitted to the Authority within 14 days from the closing date of the representations.

Algoa FM must, at the time of submitting its written response, prove to the Authority that it has delivered a copy of the response by hand, or sent a copy of the response by registered mail or by fax to the relevant persons having made written representations.

 

Lastly the notice stipulates that all written representations, responses and other correspondence regarding the proposed amendment must be directed to Ms Botse Matlala at Broadcasting Service Licensing Unit, at Block D, Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton, Johannesburg or Private Bag X10002, Sandton, 2146 or by fax number, 011 566 3206 or by email: bmatlala@icasa.org.za

Algoa FM is the biggest commercial regional radio station from the Garden Route to the Wild Coast on 94 – 97FM.

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ICASA ANNOUNCES NEW BROADCAST LICENSE APPLICANTS

Posted by radio On December - 20 - 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Earlier this year ICASA issued invitations for applicants to provide commercial sound broadcasting in both primary and secondary markets. It also issued an invitation for interested parties to apply for Individual commerce subscription broadcast licenses.  This week the authority announced the receipt of these applications and has opened up the applications for inspection by all interested persons through written representations. It is based on these responses that the authority may decide to hold hearings with regards to the applications.

ICASA intends on awarding six licenses within the Primary Markets in line with the terms of the Primary Markets licensing process, two licenses to applicants in the geographical markets in Gauteng and two each in the metropolitan areas in and around Durban and Cape Town. In the Secondary Markets, the authority intends on awarding four licenses in four provinces. One license will be issued in the Northern Cape, two in the Free State and one in the Eastern Cape.  ICASA has announced that the frequencies to be licensed for Primary Markets are on the Medium Wave band.

In Secondary Markets, ICASA has received submissions from three applicants;  Histoprox (Pty) Ltd, Histotrim (Pty) Ltd and Atretone (Pty) Ltd. Simphiwe Madlose who is one of the founding executive directors of MSG Afrika Investment Holdings is listed as the contact person for Histotrim (Pty) Ltd.  MSG Afrika is part of the consortium that was awarded the Limpopo license in 2007 which led to the birth of Capricorn FM.

 One of the applications for commercial sound broadcasting licenses in primary markets has come from Capital Radio 604 Pty Ltd. A granting of this broadcast license would mean the resurrection of Capital Radio 604. The station started transmitting in December 1979 and was shut down in 1996.  Garnering support for the application through their website, it is targeting listeners in Kwa- Zulu Natal and Gauteng. The station is promising audiences’ music and content with broad appeal and independent news without fear or favour. To date, the petition to get Capital Radio back on air has been signed by 1193 people.  K2012010707 also submitted an application for a broadcast license in the Durban metropolitan area.

Other companies that have applied for sound broadcasting licenses in the Gauteng area are; Extriserve PTY Ltd, Ltd Simascape (Pty) Ltd and Main Street 1035 PTY Ltd. In Cape Town; Magic 828 (Pty) Ltd, and K2012010697 (Pty) Ltd has also expressed interest.

ICASA has also received five applications for Individual Commercial Subscription Broadcasting licenses from Kagiso TV (currently rebranding as Grounded Media), Mindset Media Enterprises, Mobile TV (Pty) Ltd, Siyaya TV, Close-T Broadcasting Network Holdings (Pty) Ltd.  Mobile TV (Pty) Ltd is planning on introducing a mobile television service in the country, if ICASA give the go ahead for a license, Mobile TV (Pty) Ltd will be the second company to offer mobile television services after MultiChoice introduced DStv Mobile.

The granting of licenses to many of these applicants will have a ripple effect on the ICT industry by posing competition to both PBS and Commercial offerings. The process is in the early stages and interested parties who will be submitting representations with regards to the applications have 30 working days. The clock has been ticking since the 11th of December 2012 and respondents will have twenty one days to respond to any submissions made regarding their applications

 

 

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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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