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IPO bemoans Icasa move to exempt broadcasters from local content quotas

Television broadcasters like the SABC, e.tv and M-Net won’t be penalised for failing to meet local content requirements for the next three months.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) said that a reduction in the production of local content was yet another blow from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) to an already fragile industry.

Last week, Icasa resolved to exempt television broadcasters from local content quotas during the state of disaster.

This means that television broadcasters like the SABC, e.tv and M-Net won’t be penalised for failing to meet local content requirements for the next three months.

Rehad Desai of the Independent Producers Organisation said that when the lockdown started all film and TV productions were immediately halted, causing wide-scale loss of income and disruption.

"We've been at home for weeks upon weeks and people need to be informed, educated and inspired. We need to be using our broadcast spectrum to help our nation get through this very difficult period."

Desai added that this was just doing more harm than good.

"The aim has to be, and we're seeing it elsewhere, the localisation of production to make our TV more appropriate and relevant and this is a shot in the arm that we've needed and an opportunity has come along to exploit that and strengthen our broadcast system and what Icasa is doing is weakening it."

He said that it was time that members of this industry came together and worked on a way forward.

"The regulations insist that the broadcasters and production companies and the producers who run these production companies have to come together and find agreement. How do we get out of this? How do we go on and continue and not lose production value and not threaten the sustainability of the companies that are involved in these productions."