Monday, October 19, 2009

Meeting with ICASA 19 October 2009 Press Release


The TVIEC today met with a delegation from ICASA, including the Chair, Mr Paris Mashile, for over two hours. The primary purpose of the meeting was to gain clarity from ICASA on the monitoring of local content on SABC, especially given SABC’s current lack of new commissions and its reliance on repeat programming.

The TVIEC welcomes ICASA’s willingness to partner the industry on matters of regulation as well as the positive spirit of the meeting.

However, the TVIEC is alarmed at the lack of rigid monitoring of SABC compliance admitted by ICASA in the meeting. Presented with files of evidence about a lack of data accompanying SABC’s local content compliance reports for the past seven years, ICASA admitted that they have not had the requisite methodology in place to fully monitor SABC’s compliance claims.

ICASA stated that they are developing a new blueprint that will be able to accurately measure SABC’s compliance instead of just being reliant on SABC’s summaries and occasional spot checks. The new system will be open to imput from the television industry and the public, said ICASA.

While the TVIEC believes that ICASA intends to beef up its monitoring, the regulator was unable to explain why other broadcasters have in the past provided data to support their compliance summaries but the SABC never has.

Charl: 082-6813680

This press release is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition) which consists of: IPO (Independent Producers Organization), SASFED (South African Screen Federation), TPA (The Producers Alliance), DFA (Documentary Filmmakers Association), WGSA (Writers Guild of South Africa) as well as the CWU (Creative Workers Union).