The National Association of Broadcasters is a voluntary association formed in 1993 to promote the development of a sustainable and robust broadcasting system in South Africa. It established the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa and supports the principles of democracy, freedom of expression and the diversity of voices. As the leading representative of South Africa’s regulated broadcasting industry, the NAB has over the last 25 years responded to policy and regulatory processes toward an enabling environment that strengthens the industry.
The NAB Report on the State of the Broadcasting Industry in South Africa published in August 2019 is the second edition of their report to track developments in the broadcasting sector as this year, 2019, as we mark both 25 years of democracy and 25 years of independent regulation of the sector.
NAB members wanted to reflect on industry progress since the first edition in 2014 whilst considering key issues facing this regulated sector in an age of digital disruption and governments’ championing of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and commissioned PwC to compile data supplied by their members.
Some highlights include:
In the years between 2014 and 2018, the Department of Communication has focused primarily on the public broadcaster’s funding and governance, whilst the regulator, ICASA, prioritised a review of community broadcasting regulations and instituted a public process to assess the state of competition in the subscription broadcasting market. ICASA renewed commercial and community radio licences and is in the process of reviewing the sports broadcasting regulations.
Government recently established a Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the sector regulator, ICASA, established a 5G Forum to begin to develop input into ITU standards on 5G. The 4IR and 5G initiatives are aimed at economic growth and will require clear policies on future spectrum usage.
The NAB participated in the amendment process of the Films and Publications Amendment Bill regarding content classification. Having spearheaded self-regulation through the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) – 27 years ago, the NAB members are at the forefront of innovation in protecting children from harmful content and using digital technologies in both radio and television to that end.
With the support of PwC, the growth and development of the sector since 2014 are unpacked in this report. It provides clear indicators of the contribution made by broadcasters to the economy through job creation, local content creation and investment in infrastructure. It presents reliable data to inform and shape future broadcasting policy and identifies gaps for ongoing industry research.
The full report is accessible here