When South Africa entered lockdown back in March many local production houses were forced to close up shop for the foreseeable future.
A knock-on effect of this is that the SABC doesn’t have access to the production houses that produce local content.
This is ultimately a problem for the SABC as Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) regulations state that 65 percent of the broadcaster’s weekly content must be locally produced.
So with that in mind the SABC approached ICASA for an exemption regarding its local content quota and the exemption has been granted.
“The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is pleased to announce that the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has granted the public broadcaster ‘full exemption from compliance with the specific license terms and conditions of its sound and television services’,” reads a statement penned by the SABC.
“ICASA has further granted exemption from compliance with the local television content quotas. This exemption only applies to the SABC’s television services and not the radio or news service,” the broadcaster added.
The SABC went on to say that this exemption was applied for so that the SABC could mitigate the risk of non-compliance with the above legislation in the event locally produced content dries up.
“In light of this decision, which only affects our television platforms, production houses will resume productions as and when they are ready, in compliance with the regulations. In addition, the SABC is in discussions with the various production houses and the industry regarding the requirements to commence production. Each production will be managed on a case by case basis, noting that some production companies have opted not to restart productions during level 4,” the broadcaster added.
The broadcaster added that it will keep its viewers informed regarding this matter.