Broadcast Regulation

FTA Threatens To Take ICASA To Court After Losing Bid For Free-To-Air TV Licence

One of the losing bidders for the highly sought-after free-to-air television licence that was recently awarded by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is very upset over the results, calling it a lost opportunity for local youth and businesses.

A shareholder of Free To Air (FTA), a company which lost the licence to Kwese Free TV, has lashed out at ICASA, accusing it of “robbing" South Africans of a significant development opportunity after it gave Kwese the radio frequency spectrum licence and commercial free-to-air TV broadcasting licence.

The President of the National Association of Manufacturers in Electronic Components (Namec), Keith Thabo said that ICASA needed to fully explain its decision.
Thabo threatened to take legal action if the decision was not clearly explained.

He said that South African businesses were disadvantaged by ICASA’s decision to give the licence to a foreign-owned company even after the contenders had proposed that it be split among three South African bidders instead.

Kwese is partially owned by Zimbabwean telecoms mogul Strive Masiyiwa.

Keith Thabo said that FTA wants the minutes of the meetings that deliberated on the matter because they want to know who was part of the conclusion that was reached.

Amos Mohulatsi, the CEO of FTA, said that the company had not yet lodged a formal complaint against ICASA as it was waiting to be given all the reasons why FTA had not been chosen.

ICASA’s spokesperson Paseka Maleka said that the process leading to Kwese being chosen was open and transparent and that anyone that felt aggrieved had the option to approach the courts.
He confirmed that no formal objection had been received.

In a statement announcing Kwese’s victory, ICASA said that the licence would boost competition and increase the diversity of TV broadcasting services available to South Africans.

Credit: This article originated from


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