Weak Regulation Blamed for Higher Data Prices

Research ICT Africa says that weak regulation in South Africa has driven up mobile data pricing, pushing the country down to 30th out of 46 African countries surveyed.

Research ICT Africa executive director, Dr Alison Gillwald, points out that, "The fact of the matter is that we don’t have an as highly competitive market as they have in many other African countries, nor as effective regulation...”

ICASA Criticised Over TopTV’s ‘Adult’ Channels

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has overstepped its mark in terms of the degree to which it could interfere with TopTV’s content decisions.

Commenting on ICASA’s decision to reject TopTV’s request for permission to air three ‘adult’ channels, Craig Wilson, asks: “ is it that the free-to-air for years showed precisely the sort of content TopTV wants to offer without so much as a regulatory slap on the wrist?”

Media Criticised Over Complaints

The Press Ombudsman, Joe Thloloe, has lashed out at some media houses for ignoring complaints about published articles.

Thloloe points out that, "An example of the problems we have with the speed of response is the way The Times ignored correspondence from the Ombudsman's office."

He was referring to an attempt by his office attempted to get the newspaper’s response about a report allegedly biased against the African National Congress, on 12 September 2011 and another from 19 January.

Political Party Funding: Legislation Should Regulate Donations

When President Jacob Zuma announced the massive infrastructure push in his State of the Nation Address, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) secretary-general, Zwelinzima Vavi, was quick with both praise and caution. The caution concerned what he termed the ‘hyenas’. Here Vavi was referring to the predatory nature of many of the recent tender processes run by government, often plagued by corruption, nepotism and cronyism.

Zimbabwe Bans ‘Unregistered’ NGOs

Zimbabwe has banned 30 NGOs operating in Masvingo, ostensibly for failing to register with central and local authorities.

The latest ban, which includes Care International, the Zimbabwe Peace Project and the Community Development Programme, is fuelling speculation about widespread intimidatory campaigns to follow.

Justifying the ban, Masvingo, Titus Maluleke, argues that: “These organisations have left us with no choice except to suspend them from operating in the province with immediate effect, because they have twice failed to submit to the requirements of our laws."

Zimbabwe Criticised Over NGO Ban

Civic activists say moves to ban 29 humanitarian organisations in southern Zimbabwe are a breach of the nation's laws and affected groups need to ignore banning orders by ZANU-PF.

In a new crackdown of NGOs, a provincial governor appointed by President Robert Mugabe, suspended the activities of the groups this week, alleging they did not clear their operations with his office.

Zim Cracks Down on Newspapers

The Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has warned that several top South African publications circulating in Zimbabwe could face a ban, along with the UK-published Zimbabwean, unless they register their operations.

ZMC head, Godfrey Majonga, points out that, "None of the publications or their journalists appears on our registers and we are very concerned at this development."

Govt Pushes for Environmental Compliance

The Department of Environmental Affairs is amending the National Environmental Management Act so that it could take the same enforcement action against state-owned enterprises as it did against private companies.

The department states that the amendment will enable criminal prosecutions to be brought against organs of state, in line with the constitutional principle that all people and entities are equal before the law.

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.

ICASA Takes TopTV to Court

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has filed for an urgent court interdict to stop pay TV operator, TopTV, from pushing through its porn plans until ICASA has held a public hearing.

ICASA, in charge of regulating South Africa's broadcasting industry including pay TV operators, threatened that it will take TopTV to court to prevent the pay TV operator from unilaterally starting a new stand-alone pornographic package for which it has no approval certificate.


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