South Africa’s communications regulator, Icasa, is reported to have rejected 95% of recently evaluated applications for new community television broadcasting and spectrum licenses.
Icasa views community TV services as an integral part of the three-tier broadcasting ecosystem in South Africa, which includes public, commercial, and community broadcasting. Community TV aims to provide broadcasting services owned and controlled by the communities they serve, whether a geographic or interest-based community. These services must operate on a not-for-profit basis.
Currently, there are five holders of community TV licenses in South Africa. It is disappointing that 19 applicants could not meet the pre-registration requirements despite a series of workshops conducted by Icasa across the country.
“It is unfortunate that 19 applicants were unable to meet the pre-registration requirements, despite a series of workshops that Icasa conducted across the country,” said committee chair Ntombiza Sithole.
Icasa has provided reasons for disqualification to the impacted applicants and has committed to adhering to the stipulated requirements set out by the regulations to maintain the integrity of the licensing process.