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ICASA PAPER (article first published : 2005-06-7)

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) released its long awaited position paper on Subscription broadcasting. At a press conference held at ICASA’s offices, the Chairperson of ICASA, Mandla Langa said that South African content is vital to ensuring that television reflects and develops South Africa’s local, regional and national identities, cultures and characters.

“Since the inclusion of South African programming in the bouquets of subscription television broadcasting services is both a social necessity and economic opportunity for South Africa and also based upon submissions received, ICASA decided to establish an expenditure requirement for those subscription television services which provide television bouquets, given the different nature of these services when compared to free-to-air television broadcasting services”, said Mandla Langa.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) welcomes the approach that the Authority has taken with regards to subscription broadcasting as this is in line with the NFVF’s vision to develop the film and video industry in South Africa. In its oral submission to the Authority, the NFVF advocated for higher South African content quotas on television, including subscription broadcasting. The NFVF believes that the new regulatory framework will further facilitate economic opportunities whilst allowing South Africans to tell their own stories. The NFVF also acknowledged both the cultural and economic objectives of local content regulation.

“The decision that ICASA has taken will definitely have positive implications for the television and film industry in South Africa. This will also ensure that South African filmmakers enjoy a larger market share due to the fact that subscription broadcasting will now be open to other interested players. The direct result of this is the expansion of the television and film industry. The NFVF congratulates ICASA for having adopted a very enlightened approach to the regulation of subscription broadcasting”, said Eddie Mbalo, the CEO of the NFVF.




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