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ICASA gives clarity on four year community radio licensing process
In a fruitful meeting with the NAB and the NCRF, ICASA detailed their plans for the licensing of four year community radio.
Among the key developments are:
22 out of 36 ‘non-competing’ applications have been considered.
Of these, 9 licences have been granted and 10 will be referred to hearings in terms of the Authority’s decision to expand its understanding of what constitutes ‘competing’ (i.e. competing does not only mean competing for the same frequency but can also mean competing for the same audience in the same licence area)
ICASA is awaiting additional information from the remaining 3 non-competing applicants.
No applicant will be turned down without a hearing.
All non-competing applications will be finalised before hearings commence.
Hearings will commence in KwaZulu Natal in October and thereafter in Western Cape and Gauteng.
ICASA will hold meetings with all applicants who are going to hearings, in the respective provinces, before the hearings are held.
The meeting with KwaZulu Natal applicants is provisionally planned for 20 August.
As the current applications pre-dated the publication of the Broadcasting Act, the additional criteria for community radio laid out in the Broadcasting Act will not be used by ICASA when judging an application.
No new applications for community radio will be considered until the Authority has completed an inquiry into the sector, which it is required to do by the Broadcasting Act.