South Africans Prefer Cellphones Over TV

South Africans spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television or listening to the radio, according to a Mobile Media Consumption survey.

In a press statement, mobile advertising network, InMobi, points out that on any given day, mobile web users spend 30 percent of their media time on mobile devices, 29 percent on television and 20 percent listening to the radio.

Master Plan on Digital Migration

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has called on Sentech, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to develop a master plan to ensure the country gets ready to migrate to digital broadcasting.

In the same vein, ICASA councillor, Mickey Ndlovu, speaking at a recent workshop in Durban, said the digital migration will improve not only the public broadcaster, but also community and commercial broadcasters, leading to stronger competition.

ICASA to Rule on TopTV Porn Channels

The South Gauteng High Court has ruled that TopTV may not broadcast pornography channels without the permission of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

ICASA brought an interdict application before Judge Ndawuyake Tshabalala last week, hoping to delay the independent broadcaster's launch.

The dispute relates to ICASA’s subscription broadcasting services regulations, specifically paragraphs 3.5 and 3.6, which stipulate that ICASA must authorise or refuse applications for additional channels to be added to an existing bouquet within 60 days.

SABC Criticised Over Anti-Malema Song

The Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) has described the decision by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio presenters for playing an anti-Malema song as disappointing.

FXI executive director, Elston Seppie, points out that, “The banning of the song by the SABC amounts to the worst form of self-censorship and is a direct infringement on the right to artistic freedom”

Turnaround at SABC Still Needs Help

Communications Minister, Roy Padayachie, says he is not convinced that the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) turnaround strategy will solve its problems.

Padayachie points out that, "There is never a day when I wake up in the morning that there is not an SABC problem.”

He says that his department is determined to get the organisational structure and revenue streams right, while dealing with leadership issues and governance practice.

Minister to Can Broadcasting Bill

Communications Minister, Roy Padayachie, has told civil society bodies and the Congress of South African Trade Unions that he is committed to scrapping the controversial Public Service Broadcasting Bill and initiating a review process which will start from scratch with public consultation.

Padayachie’s comments come after the Democratic Alliance’s appeal to the minister not to hold discussions on the existing bill, which never went through a white paper process or having involved any public consultation.

SA’s Digital TV Plan on Track

Parliament heard that most of South Africa’s population should have digital terrestrial television by March.

Presenting Sentech’s quarterly report, Parliament’s communications portfolio committee CEO Setumo Mohapi said projections showed that by March, "We will have reached 74 percent population coverage".

He said the estimated period to cover the remaining 14 percent had been affected by the need to ensure the supply chain functions worked at all levels of the government.

New Board Member for MDDA

President Jacob Zuma has appointed broadcasting industry specialist, Thato Mahapa, to the board of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).
In a press statement, MDDA points out that Zuma, acting in terms of the MDDA Act, appointed Mahapa with effect from the 19 July until 31 December 2011, to complete the unexpired term of office of Dan Moyane.

SABC, DoC, ICASA Present Strategy Plans to Parliament

The Department of Communications, the South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) have presented strategy plans to Parliament's portfolio committee on communications to resolve outstanding issues ahead of a budget vote.
The DOC has a budget vote coming up and the portfolio committee wants to finalise their financial plans and organisational structures. But today's presentations did not go the way it had hoped.  The DOC added two more branches to its structure but did not present its financial plan.

SABC Asks Parliament for More Funds

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has asked Parliament for more money, warning that its cash flow problems and the cost of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting will result in the corporation not being ‘financially sustainable’.

SOS Support Public Broadcasting, a coalition of CSOs, says what is needed is an economic modelling exercise that looks at the concrete costs of SABC fulfilling its public mandate and the costs of digital migration and the new multichannel environment.


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