ICASA Complaint: SABC lying to continue to delay DA election adverts
30 May 2016
The latest excuse by the SABC that we change our election advertisement is yet another delay tactic.
This second argument was made by Kaizer Kganyakgo on SAfm today, when he said that the SABC is awaiting us to amend our adverts. This is news to us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with our adverts. This smacks of deliberate censorship.
We see this for what it is: a smokescreen to continue to delay them being aired for even longer.
Since yesterday, the SABC has tried to muster up every excuse it can find to prevent airing the DA’s paid election adverts, including that it has not organised slots for political parties and that the adverts need to be amended.
These are blatant lies. These are paid advertisements, and there is no need for allocation of slots. This is pure nonsense.
The DA will continue to file a complaint with ICASA today in terms of section 6 of the ICASA Act.
In terms of the Broadcast Act and regulations, Parties contesting elections are permitted free one minute slots on all SABC stations and on other stations which choose to make airtime available according to a set formula. These are referred to as Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs). The other category is that of Political Advertisements (PAs), which are broadcast on any and all stations as the advertising Party pays normal, commercial airtime rates. The SABC’s conflation of political adverts and paid for adverts is simply a cheap theatric.
To this end, the DA is specifically seeking to address the following:
- The SABC’s refusal to broadcast until it obtains such approval is accordingly ultra vires and unlawful;
- That this refusal to air our adverts is in contravention of Section 16 of the Bill of Rights which guarantees freedom of expression.
Our adverts are lawful and provided for in the ICASA Act the moment a proclamation is made, as Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des van Rooyen, did on Monday, 23 May 2016.
The reality is that this is nothing but a poorly crafted delay tactic by the SABC in order to censor the DA's political advertisement, as well as to afford the ANC an unfair advantage in the race to the upcoming elections.
The DA will continue to follow due process to stave off the SABC’s attempt to abuse its power by attempting to censor the DA and protect the ANC from criticism and ensure an end to their corruption, while creating jobs and delivering better services for all.
Issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA National Spokesperson, 30 May 2016