The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) will reopen applications for community radio, and television broadcasting services since only two out of 142 applicants made it to the second stage of the community radio licensing process, and none of the 42 applicants of the community television broadcasting services licensing process made it to the second stage.
The invitation to pre-register (ITP-R) will be issued no later than December 15, 2021, and April 20, 2022, for both services, respectively. In addition, the Authority will hold a virtual workshop on December 8, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in response to high levels of non-compliance and failure to meet licensing requirements. Over and above what ICASA has uncovered through application analysis and related mitigation, the workshop will help determine the challenges.
ICASA will also hold country-wide public workshops to thoroughly unpack the needs of the ITP-R in the coming year, assisting communities in properly comprehending the criteria and addressing any other issues that may arise during these consultations. The dates for the country-wide public workshops will be announced as soon as possible, considering the Covid-19 pandemic and the national state of disaster.
While ICASA’s Chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, expressed gratitude to all the communities that participated in and responded to previous ITP-Rs, he also encouraged them not to lose hope or faith in the process as it is intended to empower communities and determine the future of broadcasting.
“This process must take place in a way that does not set communities up for failure,” says Modimoeng. “As a result, we encourage all interested communities to fully participate in the workshops and other related processes so that they can get a better understanding of what we require to grant and issue licenses.”
He urged communities to learn about the community broadcasting environment and all of the regulations that govern it. He claims the former is the foundation for sustainable and effective and where wrongdoing can be reported immediately.