ICASA confirms investigation of Multichoice payments to ANN7 and SABC
Note to Editors: Please find attached a soundbite in English by DA Shadow Minister of Communications, Phumzile Van Damme MP.
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has confirmed that it will be conducting an investigation into Multichoice.
This follows a complaint lodged by the DA in November last year requesting that ICASA conduct an inquiry into payments made by Multichoice to ANN7 and the SABC, allegedly in exchange for political influence over government policy on Digital Migration, in its favour.
In a letter, ICASA indicates that the matter has been referred to its Compliance and Consumer Affairs division for investigation.
The DA is pleased that ICASA has agreed that the payments require investigation.
South Africa deserves to know whether the payments were indeed above board, as Multichoice has maintained.
The DA believes that while companies like Multichoice should be allowed the space to do business and create much-needed employment, their conduct must at all times be within the bounds of the law, in line with business ethics and in an environment where competition is not stifled.
There is no issue with companies lobbying for policy positions through debate, but a situation where policy is bought cannot be allowed. It is tantamount to policy capture.
The DA looks forward to further engaging with ICASA on this matter for clarity to be provided once and for all.
Statement issued by Phumzile Van Damme, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, 28 January 2018