NAB engages Minister Gungubele on key broadcasting concerns
On Thursday 27 July 2023, NAB members met with Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) Minister Mondli Gungubele and senior members from the DCDT, including Acting DCDT Director-General Nonkqubela Thathakahle Jordan-Dyani, to discuss key issues facing the South African broadcasting sector.
The NAB was represented by Executive Director Nadia Bulbulia, Chairperson Thabo Makenete, Deputy Chairperson Nick Grubb, Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs Julia Sham-Guild and NAB Executive Committee members, Tholoana Ncheke and Wilma van Schalkwyk.
Among the various issues discussed at the meeting, the NAB took the DCDT and the Honourable Minister through the state of the broadcasting sector and the vital role it plays in keeping South Africans informed, educated, entertained, and engaged in local and national issues. The impact of loadshedding, as well as vandalism of infrastructure, and stability of signal transmission was also raised.
The Copyright Amendment Bill and the Performers’ Protection Amendment Bill were also discussed, and the NAB indicated that they were encouraged that the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition were considering inputs by sector experts.
The engagement also focused on the urgent need to finalise the policy review on the Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual content services (AAVCS). The existing policy and regulatory framework is outdated and the NAB eagerly awaits the publication of the revised White Paper on AAVCS.
“South Africa has a vibrant broadcasting and communications sector and as it grows, policymakers face choices on how best to harness this industry growth for the benefit of all. The focus should be on creating optimal and enabling conditions where innovation can flourish, and where there is regulatory parity and a level playing field between local and global players,” said Bulbulia.
“Fair and flexible regulatory frameworks should be put in place for everyone as this will ensure the benefits of the digital economy will flow to all South Africans,” she added.
The NAB welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Honourable Minister and the DCDT, and looks forward to future engagements with the department.