Object of Act
The object of this Act is to establish and develop a broadcasting policy in the Republic in the public interest and for that purpose to –
(a) contribute to democracy, development of society, gender equality, nation building, provision of education and strengthening the spiritual and moral fibre of society;
(b) safeguard, enrich and strengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of South Africa;
(c) encourage ownership and control of broadcasting services through participation by persons from historically disadvantaged groups;
(d) ensure plurality of news, views and information and provide a wide range of entertainment and education programmes;
(e) cater for a broad range of services and specifically for the programming needs in respect of children, women, the youth and the disabled;
(f) encourage the development of human resources and training, and capacity building within the broadcasting sector especially amongst historically disadvantaged groups;
(g) encourage investment in the broadcasting sector;
(h) ensure fair competition in the broadcasting sector;
(i) ensure efficient use of the broadcasting frequency spectrum;
(j) provide a clear allocation of roles and assignment of tasks between policy formulation, regulation and service provision as well as articulation of longterm and intermediate-term goals;
(k) provide for a three tier system of public, commercial and community broadcasting services;
(l) establish a strong and committed public broadcasting service which will service the needs of all South African society;
(m) ensure that the commercial and community licences, viewed collectively, are controlled by persons or groups of persons from a diverse range of communities in South Africa;
(n) ensure that broadcasting services are effectively controlled by South Africans;
(o) integrate multi-channel distribution systems into the broadcasting framework;
(p) provide access to signal distribution services for content providers;
(q) provide access to signal distribution services for broadcast content receivers;
(r) encourage the development of local programming content.
The SOUTH AFRICAN BROADCASTING SYSTEM lays the basis that the South African broadcasting system is owned and controlled by South Africans. The National Government, acting through the Minister, is responsible for the achievement of this purpose and the constitutional mandate of broadcasting policy development. Being empowered to act on behalf of the nation, the Minister has the ultimate responsibility to fulfil certain obligations relating to use, protection and access to broadcasting resources.
(1) The South African broadcasting system –
(a) serves to safeguard, enrich and strengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabric of South Africa;
(b) operates in the public interest and strengthens the spiritual and moral fibre of society;
(c) ensures that the broadcasting system is controlled by persons or groups of persons from a diverse range of communities in South Africa and within each element promotes ownership, control and management of broadcasting services by persons from historically disadvantaged groups;
(d) encourages fair competition in the provision of programmes and services.
(2) Subject to subsection (1), the Minister is ultimately responsible to develop policy that is required from time to time.
(3) Public and commercial broadcasting services must comply with international technical standards and the broadcasting system must be readily adaptable to scientific and technological advances.
(4) The broadcasting system, as a whole, must provide educational programming, and where such programming is provided by a dedicated education service, must be extended throughout the Republic within the financial resources.
(5) The programming provided by the South African broadcasting system must –
(a) be varied and comprehensive, providing a balance of information, education and entertainment meeting the broadcasting needs of the entire South African population in terms of age, race, gender, religion, interests and backgrounds;
[Para. (a) substituted by s. 3 of Act 64/2002]
(b) be varied and offer a range of South African content and analysis from a South African perspective;
(c) must be drawn from local, regional, national and international sources;
(d) provide a reasonable, balanced opportunity for the public to receive a variety of points of view on matters of public concern;
(e) provide a significant place for programmes produced by the independent production sector;
(f) comply with a code of conduct for broadcasting services as prescribed in terms of the IBA Act.
[Para. (f) substituted by s. 3 of Act 64/2002]
(6) A range of programming in the Republic’s official languages must be extended to all South Africans as circumstances permit.
(7) The human resources development strategy for the broadcasting sector must be viewed holistically in terms of qualification standards, skills development, teaching, inter-relationships with the complementary sectors and the funding of the training system.
The full Act as well as the amendments of 2002 and 2009 are available for download in our ‘Documents‘ section.