Saturday, 12 September 2020 09:31

Photo Credit:GCIS. 

Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has welcomed Cabinet’s approval of the long-awaited draft White Paper on Audio and Visual Content Services Policy Framework. 

Cabinet approved the draft during a virtual meeting and the next step is for the department to go on provincial consultations before the bill is finalised, said the Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies on Friday.

The paper proposes policy and regulatory changes and makes recommendations to reposition the audio-visual media sector for future growth and investment promotion.

It emphasises the review of sports broadcasting rights matters, promotion of foreign direct investment within the broadcasting sector, and the Licensing of the Over-the-Top Services (OTTS).    

The paper also delves into competition issues about pay-TV and free-to-air markets, availability of spectrum for the transmission of audio-visual content, and skills development to fast track digital transformation within the sector.

“There is a growing need to level the playing field between traditional broadcasting, on-demand services providers – these include catch-up TV service, video-on-demand services as well as news portals – and video-sharing platforms.

“It has been quite a journey to get this draft White Paper to this stage. We are steadily moving towards the implementation stage now,” said the Minister

Ndabeni-Abrahams also welcomed the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA), Trevor Rammitiwa.

NEMISA is a non-profit educational institution that trains previously disadvantaged individuals with a focus in TV, radio, broadcasting and digital content production.

The Minister said Rammitiwa’s appointment comes at a time when the entity is repositioning itself to be the national digital skills training institute.