Johannesburg- Thursday 13 July 2017 – The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) today announced that it is embarking on a review process of its 2004 Editorial Policies, which were developed through a consultation process with the public at large.
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.
In addition, the policies have to also comply with the Press Code of the SA Press Council under which the SABC digital platforms fall.
The SABC’s 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”;
• “The 2004 SABC’s editorial policies accordingly remain valid”.
This new review process is therefore aimed at ensuring that a proper consultation process takes place with the public and the various stakeholders of the SABC and the final policies which emanate from these policies are in line with section 6 (6) of the Broadcasting Act of No 4 of 1999.
SABC Interim Board Chairperson Ms Khanyisile Kweyama stated “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 round the country to ensure maximum participation by all South Africans”.
The SABC will hold public hearings in each of the provinces, 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 the 31st of August 2017.
All inputs received from the public will be consolidated and will inform a revised Editorial Code and Policies document, which will then be released for public comment before being finalized.
The public can get a copy of the current SABC Editorial Policies in their preferred language at www.sabc.co.za/editorialpolicy.
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 on 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.