Broadcast Regulation

South Africa: Radio and TV Stations Will Be Mandated To Carry 70 Percent Local Content

In South Africa, a new policy that TV and radio stations in South Africa should attain 70% local content within five years has been adopted by the African National Congress (ANC).

According to the resolution that was issued at the end of its national conference, the policy does not involve only South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) but will be applied to the entire broadcasting landscape in the Southern African region.

The ANC said that the five-year strategy for the local content creation, distribution and transmission industry should be implemented without delay and will be simultaneously done with the review of the broadcasting policy in line with the digital broadcasting plan.

This agreement was reached after the interim board of the SABC made a reversal of the initial 90% local content quota which the ousted SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng implemented at SABC.

The ANC also addressed the monopoly that DSTV is enjoying in the pay-TV market and resolved to ensure a fair and regulated subscription broadcasting television market, and deal with competition issues through government policy and competition intervention.

It will be recalled that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) launched an inquiry into the TV subscription market in South Africa only to find out that MultiChoice has 98.1% market share in the pay-TV industry. Research also revealed that it owns a considerable percentage and share of rights to Hollywood movies and to live sports broadcasting in South Africa.

The ANC believes that consumers are now more aware of their cultures, therefore, observing trends and adapting to changes to satisfy these consumers is very important, and it has now become imperative for broadcasters to bring relevant local content to their consumers and the regulators'  to monitor what is being fed to the public.

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