DOCUMENTS

SABC's editorial amendments invalid - ICASA

Public participation procedure as prescribed by section 6(6) of the Broadcasting Act of 1999 not adhered to

ICASA approves the recommendation of the Complaints and Compliance Committee on a complaint lodged by SOS Support Public Broadcasting and Media Monitoring Africa against the SABC

09 March 2017

Johannesburg – The Council of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has approved the recommendation of the Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) in the matter lodged by SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa, against the SABC relating to the amendment to editorial policies without public consultation.

On 3 October 2016, the CCC received a complaint from S.O.S Support Public Broadcasting Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa alleging that the SABC failed to comply with section 6(6) of the Broadcasting Act 1999 in that the SABC Board did not invite and consider public comment on the draft amendments to its editorial policies, before it approved the amendments on 25 January 2016.

On 9 December 2016, the CCC held public hearings to allow both parties to present their arguments before the Committee and the dispute was limited to whether the editorial policies, as amended, should first have been published by the Board of the SABC for public comments.

Having considered the recommendation of the CCC, the Council of ICASA hereby issues an order to the SABC Board that the 2016 amendments to its editorial policies were invalid in terms of the Broadcasting Act 1999. Therefore, the 2004 SABC editorial policies, accordingly, remain valid.

This is because the public participation procedure as prescribed by section 6(6) of the Broadcasting Act of 1999 was not adhered to by the SABC Board in the 2016 amendment of its editorial policies. 

Statement issued by Paseka Maleka, ICASA, 9 March 2017