Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Update from SOS on: Name change for SOS, Letter to the Minister of Communications, and SOS's 1st draft of a submission on the new Broadcasting Bill.

Hello all

Thanks for all the inputs re: our new name. We have decided to go with the name suggested at our working group meeting - "SOS - support for public broadcasting". The understanding is that from now on we will be supporting public broadcasting principles across all three tiers of the media - public, commercial and community. However, a central focus remains the transformation of the SABC.

Thanks for all the excellent inputs as regards the letter to the Minister. To download the final draft click here(39kb). Please note that the most important points are as follows:

  • That we are very glad that the Minister is focusing on the critical issue of public broadcasting
  • As SOS we want to continue to play a constructive and forward-looking role re: public broadcasting
  • The Bill introduces major policy shifts - and therefore we still believe that there should be a proper policy review process and then arising from the policy process a Bill. At the very least we need more time for comment. The deadline of the 7th of December is too short. We respectfully request more time for debate, consultation and research. We need until the end of March 1010. (South Africa closes down over Christmas, so any time before that won't allow for proper consultation.)
  • We believe that rushing this Bill will create a whole lot of new problems - and won't sort out the ones that are there.

Also, please click here to find attached the very first draft of our submission to the DOC on the Bill(110kb). AS SOS we need to be as constructive as possible. We are certainly not sitting back! Here are our intial thoughts. Do send your comments. Please note the following re: the document:

  • The document consists of two parts - a summary of SOS's submission to the DOC re: the Public Service Discussion Document (Annexure B) and an excellent and comprehensive legal opinion done by our broadcasting expert Justine Limipitlaw. Please click here to download attached doc(244kb).
  • Please note that we still need to integrate the comments made at the Roundtable, discussions on the email, the findings of other research projects e.g. Afrimap.
  • Further, OSF has very kindly agreed to pay for an international input on the Bill. This will be integrated at a later stage. (I will give you more information on this in a follow-up post.)
  • Also, as discussed yesterday, Prof Tawana Kupe and I will be working closely on this - and we will be sending you through the various drafts. Finally, please note that at this stage the document does not include anything on the community media sector. This will be rectified shortly. I will be working closely with all communiy media formations to ensure we get these issues covered.

Warm regards and thanks

SOS Coordinator
(082) 926-6404