South Africa's Govt. Explores "Relaxation" Of Broadcast Ownership Rules
In a move - said to be driven - by a desire to open up further the television and radio broadcasting industry in South Africa, the nation's government is considering permitting more foreign ownership involvement in the country's broadcasting and media sector.
Analysis from the Department of Communication industry framework white paper - that was recently released - has indicated that the government could raise the shareholding and foreign ownership to up to forty-nine per cent from the current twenty per cent. The foreign ownership rules could be relaxed to up to 100 per cent if the investment or investors are from other African countries.
To ensure that increased ownership by non-South Africa does not result in the dilution the "South African-ness" of content, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) would closely monitor the licensees to ensure compliance with local content rules. a.
The government is also looking to the possibility of anti-competitiveness from the relaxation of cross-ownership rules around AM and FM licenses and have recommended that this should be looked at by the country's Competition Commission.