Media Monitoring Africa heads to Icasa over SABC’s protest policy

MMA says the ban makes no sense as it only deals with the destruction of state property.

Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) has formally lodged a complaint against the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s ban on pictures of violent protests with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa).

In its legal papers MMA says the ban makes no sense as it only deals with the destruction of state property and not government property, and that violent protests would still receive publicity.

Last week, SABC Chief Operations OfficerHlaudi Motsoeneng said he believed community protests only became violent when television cameras arrived to film them.

MMA Director William Bird says the policy is wrong.

"It violates the Broadcasting Act and we also believe it violates the SABC's license conditions."

LISTEN: Cosatu on SABC's decision to not cover violent protests


Motsoeneng says local music and television quotas represent an opportunity for South Africans to produce quality content.

The public broadcaster plans to increase local content on its television channels from July, with a particular focus on SABC 3, which will show 80 percent local content.

The SABC is dishing out new production contracts for producers to make local television content.

Motsoeneng says this is an opportunity for local talent to step up.

"I can confirm that some of the people in Africa working as producers, and they are South Africans, are coming back home and are prepared to assist the organisation so that they can produce content that is quality."

Last month, the SABC committed to 90 percent local music across its radio stations.

The move has angered listeners of Durban-based Lotus FM, who have threatened to boycott the station, because they say there is not enough quality local music to meet the quota.