The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) says it is ready to undertake the process to review its 2004 editorial policies.
Since making the announcement last week, the SABC has urged all interested parties to make their submissions.
The new review process is aimed at ensuring that a proper consultation process takes place with the public and the various stakeholders of the SABC. The final policies that will emanate from this process must be in line with section 6 (6) of the Broadcasting Act of No 4 of 1999.
“This process is an important milestone to ensure that our content offering on radio, television and digital platforms are in line not only with legislative and regulatory requirements, but also with public sentiment.
“We therefore appeal to all stakeholders and interested bodies to participate in this process, which will go around the country to ensure maximum participation by all South Africans,” said SABC Interim Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama said in a statement.
The SABC will hold public hearings in every province, where audiences and the general public will be afforded a chance to contribute to shaping the SABC’s editorial policies through oral or written submissions.
The deadline for written submissions is 31 August 2017.
The SABC is required, in terms of Section 6 of the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999, as amended, to develop policies that are intended to ensure compliance with the:
- Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) Code of Conduct;
- The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) Code of Conduct;
- The Corporation’s licence conditions and
- The provisions of the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999.
The policies also have to comply with the Press Code of the SA Press Council, under which the SABC digital platforms fall.
The SABC said its editorial policies provide a framework and serve as a guideline for decision making on all content carried on SABC services.
The policies specifically address Programming, News and Current Affairs, Language, Universal Access and Services, Local Content, Religious Programming and Education.
In 2013, the corporation undertook a process to review the 2004 policies, which culminated in 2016 with policies being filed with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
The policies were later rejected by ICASA, which further ordered that the amendment by the SABC Board of its editorial policies was invalid in terms of the Broadcasting Act No 4 of 1999, and the 2004 SABC’s editorial policies “accordingly remain valid”.
The public can get a copy of the current SABC editorial policies in their preferred language at www.sabc.co.za/editorialpolicy.
Public consultation schedule
For more information on the editorial policy consultation process, the public can go to the SABC News website http://www.sabc.co.za/news for details of the public consultation meetings in all the provinces, to read about the policy review process, look at old policies and to give their input.
Written submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to SABC Private Bag X1, Aucklandpark, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2006. Submissions can also be made at all the SABC’s provincial offices.