Communications and digital technologies minister Mondli Gungubele has received a thorough briefing on the state of South Africa’s broadcast sector.
The minister, with senior members from the DCDT, met the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) to discuss various issues from load shedding to several far-reaching bills in the pipeline.
“South Africa has a vibrant broadcasting and communications sector and as it grows, policymakers face choices on how best to harness this industry growth for the benefit of all, said Nadia Bulbulia, executive director of the NAB.
“The focus should be on creating optimal and enabling conditions where innovation can flourish, and where there is regulatory parity and a level playing field between local and global players,” she added.
Keeping us informed
The NAB team – including chairperson Thabo Makenete, deputy chairperson Nick Grubb, head of legal and regulatory affairs Julia Sham-Guild and NAB executive committee members, Tholoana Ncheke-Mahlaela Ncheke and Wilma van Schalkwyk – briefed Gungubele on how broadcasters keep South Africans informed, educated, entertained, and engaged in local and national issues.
The impact of loadshedding, as well as vandalism of infrastructure, and stability of signal transmission was raised. The Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill were also discussed.
The NAB indicated that they were encouraged that the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition were considering inputs by sector experts.
The engagement also focused on the urgent need to finalise the policy review on the Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual content services (AAVCS). The existing policy and regulatory framework is outdated and the NAB eagerly awaits the publication of the revised White Paper on AAVCS.
“Fair and flexible regulatory frameworks should be put in place for everyone as this will ensure the benefits of the digital economy will flow to all South Africans,” Bulbulia said.