Communications regulator Icasa has granted the SABC exemption from local content quotas as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown. This frees the public broadcaster to increase the ratio of foreign content it broadcasts on television.
It has also been given “full exemption from compliance with the specific licence terms and conditions of its sound and television services” and follows an application to the regulator.
Covid-19, the broadcaster said, is set to have a negative impact on its local productions as all production houses had to shut down when the national lockdown was announced in March.
“It must be emphasised that the relaxation of the regulations by Icasa is to mitigate the risk of non-compliance by the public broadcaster and does not reflect an intent by the corporation not to execute and deliver on its mandate, as it has consistently done,” the SABC said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Despite the adverse changes, it is important to note that the public broadcaster needs local productions as part of its business model. Therefore, the SABC will do everything within the regulations to grow its business while assisting local production houses it works with.”
Production houses will resume productions when they are ready, in compliance with the regulations, it said. “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.” — © 2020 NewsCentral Media