The DFA was established in 2007 to promote and protect the interests of doc filmmakers in South Africa. To contact the DFA, please use the contact form: here . The DFA website is at: www.docfilmsa.com Membership applications can be made through the website here.

11 September 2010

RIGHT2KNOW Campaign - DFA wish to support campaign & Gauteng Launch Invitation


Dear DFA Members,

DFA Wants to Formally Support the Right2Know Campaign

The DFA board would like to sign the petition below on behalf of its members. Please let us know if you have any objections to this by 14h00 on Tuesday the 14th of September 2010. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that you are in agreement with the petition, and the board will sign it on behalf of the DFA. You are also welcome to sign it individuallty.

South Africans face a serious threat to their right of access to information (and media freedom in general), but it canbe prevented. Every voice helps, so if you have not signed the petition below, please do so immediately.

http://www.r2k.org.za/index.php and click "Sign-on"

OPENING A DOOR THAT WILL CLOSE MANY OTHERS
"The proposed Protection ofInformation Billl is still under discussion in Parliament but already 180 NGOs publically said they are opposing it. They say it gives the Department of StateSecurity sweeping powers over what government information is available to the public." See http://www.fxi.org.za/ formore info.
Also, while this campiagn has already opened in Cape Town you are welcome to attend the:

Gauteng Launch & Public Information Session

Date: Wednesday 15 September 2010

Time: 11:15 for 11:30 – 12h30

Venue: Chalsty Centre, School of Law, West Campus, Wits University, Braamfontein

RSVP: fxi@fxi.org.za or call 011 4821907 by Monday 13 September 2010

Refreshments will be served

Hope to see many DFA members there for this important campaign that affects our work as much as the press media industry.

About the R2K Campaign:
An umbrella campaign including a broad front of civil society groups, Right to Know believes that a responsive and accountable democracy able to meet the basic needs of our people is built on transparency and the free flow of information. We are concerned that the Protection of Information Bill currently before Parliament -- the Secrecy Bill -- will fundamentally undermine hard-won constitutional rights including access to information and freedom of expression. The R2K campaign statement - "Let the truth be told. Stop the Secrecy Bill!" - was drafted following parliamentary hearings on the Bill in July. It demands that the Bill be redrafted to comply with constitutional values.

By Right2Know's initial public launch in Cape Town on August 31, about 200 organisations and hundreds of individuals including Nobel laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nadine Gordimer had endorsed the statement. Support has grown significantly since.

Right2Know is launching in Johannesburg on September 15 and is planning a week of action starting with the Black Wednesday commemoration on October 19.

(Television Press) "Documentary Center" in USA

Dear DFA Members,

The following was sent to us this week, and might be of value to those wanting to expose their work in the USA.

Dear Friends of Film:
I'm sending word to film nation as we share in one common interest featuring documentary movies. Now, not just the run-of-the-mill films you can just find anywhere (Hollywood) but the highest standard of independent documentary filmmaking from concept, production, to screen. Currently, in search of motion pictures in limited release that set the bar for quality during all stages of production and finally creativity. I'm coming to documentary centers across the globe who are willing to be part of an in-studio televised production.
Background:

Over the last fourteen seasons, "A Time to Review" brings to the attention of it's audience interesting, thought provoking, and award winning movies from across the U.S. and around the world. In the effort to get the movie going public to see and encourage them to watch film in a new direction.

There are movie programs that tell you what to see on the big screen, but we take that same thought and take it even further. We are encouraged by film that get under the radar that have no media / press and bring these films to our televised audience at home ("creating awareness") and consideration.
Press Note: If you know any documentary center(s) looking for advance TV press (about: film screenings or discuss there organization in a public forum...), please e-mail me.

Requirement(s) for documentary filmmakers 1.) Bring a film trailer 2.) have at least two video clips from the documentary itself 3.) send (via e-mail) press kit attachment 4.) If you can, please send over a DVD screener of your film to the address provided (below).
Worldly Film Productions
C/O Daniel Berman
Founder
1763 Beacon Street, Suite 1
Brookline, MA
02445
Broadcast Studio: (617) 731-8566
Direct Line (Cell): (617) 997-9476
Thank you for your time I look forward to speaking with you.
Sincerely,
Daniel Berman,
Executive Producer / Host
"A Time to Review"
(Monday, September 7, 2010)

SOS Feedback - "The SABC Crisis: Finding Lasting Solutions"

Dear DFA Memebers,

Some news from SOS on its recenet event (this week on the 7th) at Constitution Hill, SOS event - "The SABC Crisis: Finding Lasting Solutions" at which SASFED Co-Chair Feizel Mamdoo got the chance to interface with SABC Board Chair Dr. Ben Ngubane.


Hello all

I wanted to give you all feedback from yesterday's event. We had a great turnout. Thanks to all of you for coming and thanks to Jayshree for organising the event. As I am sure you were all aware the Chair of the Board, Dr. Ben Ngubane came. He was given space to put forward his views on the appointment of the Head of News. Also, he raised some issues re: the functionality of the Board. He gave us feedback in quite a lot of detail about the scoring of the candidates for the Head of News post. He stated that three people scored but two board members refused and that in the end he had no option but to go ahead and make the appointment. He also stated that he had got legal advice before he had made the decision. He also commented on the suspension of the CEO he stated that he personally felt that it was premature and that Solly had not been given enough time to design the strategy, that it was a work in progress and that actually quite a lot of work had been done. Unfortunately there were no board members present to either concur or deny these statements. As SOS we thanked Dr. Ngubane for making these inputs and for clarifying the issues from his side but we said that it was still essential that we go ahead with the Parliamentary hearing in the open and that we get all sides of the story. Also there was discussion around the Board's statement that the full Board has now endorsed the appointment of the Head of News. There was lots of discussion but ultimately it seems that we need more information on the actual procedures followed re: the appointment of the Head of News. Hence the need for Parliament to look into this issue. It will not be healthy for the SABC or for Phil Molefe if these issues are not clarified because it puts the SABC's credibility and especially SABC News's credibility into question.

On the issue of the Parliamentary hearing apparently SANEF has withdrawn its legal challenge. The Portfolio Committee is therefore free to hold the hearing and should do so as soon as possible and in the open.

A number of people asked us from the floor if the Board should be removed. Dr Ngubane stated that if Parliament felt that the Board should be removed then he was happy to abide by that decision. From SOS's side we said that it was impossible to talk about removing the Board at this point. Until you have the Parliamentary hearing, we won't have the facts.

Further, we had a very good discussion about the Public Service Broadcasting Bill. The overwhelming sentiment at the seminar was that we need to seriously engage with the Bill, that we need to look at international best practice etc. and put forward a number of options for funding, governance issues etc.

Also, the independent producers were given space to put forward a host of their issues around programming and governance issues at the SABC. Feizel Mamdoo said that there had been a particular point in the SABC's history when the independent producers and the SABC had cooperated well. They had produced a joint document about intellectual property rights. These resolutions need to be revisited.

Finally, both Dr. Ben Ngubane and members of SABC management stated that they welcomed input and that there was a particular stakeholder division in the SABC tasked with communicating with the public. SOS and its members must certainly engage in these forums.
I will be asking Pat and Feizel to send through their notes to supplement this report back. Also, do share your thoughts on this.

Warm regards

Kate


Kate Skinner
Campaign Coordinator - SOS:Support Public Broadcasting
(082) 926-6404
www.supportpublicbroadcasting.co.za
twitter.com/sos_za

09 September 2010

New DFA Board 2010 / 11 year

The new DFA Board as elected at the AGM on the 2nd Of September 2010, met for its first board meeting on Wednesday the 8th of September. In this meeting the following two additional people were co-opted to the board for the 2010/11 term:

Emmanuel Sibanda - Johannesburg
Simon Taylor - Cape Town

The positions of the board for 2010/11 are as follows:

Co-Chairperson Cape Town: Lauren Groenewald
Co-Chairperson Johannesburg: Matome Senyolo

Co-Vice Chair Johannesburg: Marc Schwinges
Co-Vice Chair Durban: Odette Geldenhuys

Treasurer Johannesburg: Pascal Schmitz

Secretary Cape Town: Tina-Louise Smith

Youth Portfolio Cape Town: Dylan Valley

Board Member Johannesburg: Darryl Els
Board Member Johannesburg: Emmanuel Sibanda
Board Member Cape Town: Simon Taylor

The board is currently taking over all functions of the DFA, and its next board meeting is Wednesday the 6th of October, 2010, at 11h00.

For more on the AGM of the 2nd Of September 2010, including pictures of the Johannesburg & Cape Town AGM please click here.

Interviewers for Perspective

You should all be familiar with Perspective the DFA's blog of interviews with South African documentary filmmakers. In order to keep the blog current and lively, I need your help.

There were so many documentaries screened at Encounters this year, which provide the perfect opportunity for us to learn more about documentary filmmaking from these filmmakers. Two of the filmmakers were interviewed for Perspective, but there are many more.

If you would like to conduct an interview to learn more about their processes and techniques from one of the filmmakers and share that with the rest of us on the blog, please send an email to Tina-Louise: tina@freerangefilms.co.za

NFVF Emerging Producer's Course Shares Invaluable Knowledge with Small Producers

This week saw part two of the Sediba Emerging Producer's Course take place at the National Film and Video Foundation. I was very fortunate to be on it and boy did I learn a lot!

If the first part that took place in July was an interesting insight into the value chain of filmmaking and a good overview of a producer's role in this business, part two was a serious crash course in how you get the money to make a film and pay it back. Angus Finney, an executive producer and the project manager of the London Production Finance Market, took us through the nitty gritty of international production finance and how not to get caught out when swimming with the "big fish".

They were two days of non-stop knowledge off-loading coupled with a lot of questions from a seemingly overwhelmed audience, including myself, as I had never heard of 80% of the strategies and production finance advice this guru was giving us. Angus took us through the ins and outs of putting together a package and raising finance that realistically matched the production in terms of budget and scale, so as to be taken serious by sales agents and other potential investors. He walked us through, what he termed, the 'dark art' of financing: juggling the demands of the different investors and financiers and bringing them all together in one legal document and repayment structure at the right point in time. He illustrated clearly with recoupment tables how the negative costs and investors are repaid in what order and what happens to the equity players after the break even point and the film starts to go into profit - if you should be so lucky.

To round it off, on the last day David Max Brown walked us through two of his finance plans: one for television and one for a feature film. This put all we had learned into a local context and showed us how best it is done here with South African investors and rebates.

All in all I am still reeling from the information overload, but I feel ten years wiser as a producer and want to really commend the NFVF on putting together, what is in my experience, the best training course for a producer I have ever been on.

The course cost me a thousand rand to register, which is 10% of the course's assigned value (although I would value it at far more than that). I had to apply to go on the course with a letter of motivation, preferably having a project in development, pre-production or production to take with. I found the application process simple and straight forward and the course itself was well organised (except for the aircon in the auditorium which froze those in the back and left those in the front baking). The handouts for reading over the duration of the course, that is spaced over four months, are excellent and well worth keeping on standby for the next production.

For more info visit the Sediba page on the NFVF site at http://www.nfvf.co.za

Pascal Schmitz, DFA Treasurer

Colloquium on Media Freedom and Regulation

15 September 2010

1pm – 6pm

Chalsty Centre, Wits University, West Campus

Is South Africa facing the spectre of censorship and media repression?

Focus of the colloquium

On 23 August 2010, Wits and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism hosted an evening panel discussion to define urgent questions around the ANC’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal. The Faculty of Humanities invites you to a fuller, follow-up event which will develop the debate about freedom of expression in the media, but also in other realms of communication and publication, in South Africa. The colloquium will focus on a range of relevant proposed legal developments, including the Public Service Broadcasting Bill, ICASA Amendment Bill, Protection of Information Bill and the ANC’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT), all of which have implications for freedom of expression, media freedom, and independent regulation of the media. In 10minute presentations, speakers will ask the question whether South Africa is approaching a new era of censorship, media repression and government control of the media which will undermine democratic freedoms as well as the transparency and accountability of the state to its citizens.

Themes/Issues

The colloquium will among other things focus on the following themes or issues:

  • Self regulation versus statutory regulation versus independent regulation
  • National versus public interest
  • State versus public service broadcasting
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of the media and media independence
  • Academic freedom and research
  • Editorial and programming independence
  • Censorship
  • Access to information
Pending and existing legislation and ANC proposal
  • Public Service Broadcasting Bill
  • ICASA Amendment Bill
  • Protection of Information Bill
  • Proposed Media Appeals Tribunal
  • National Key Points Act

Format

10 minute presentations on a theme and questions/comments

Presenters

A range of presenters including academics, editors, journalists, lawyers and media activists working on freedom of expression and media freedom to address a specific theme/issue will make presentations on the themes and legislation identified above.

Proposed Presenters

Journalists and Editors (current and former)

  • Mr Joe Thloloe - Press Council and Ombudsman - Confirmed
  • Professor Gavin Stewart - South African National Editor’s Forum - TBC
  • Ms Ferial Haffajee - Media Appeals Tribunal - will attend

Academics

  • Professor Anton Harber - Media Appeals Tribunal - confirmed
  • Professor Franz Kruger - Showers, the Nellie, brown envelopes, leaks and the ethics of being a battleground.
  • Dr Sarah Chiumbu - The Case of Zimbabwe - confirmed
  • Dr Last Moyo - The Case of Zimbabwe - confirmed
  • Professor Jane Duncan - ANC’s Media Policy and Media Freedom - confirmed
  • Professor Iain Currie - Protection of Information Bill - confirmed
  • Professor Anthony Butler - Academic research & media freedom - confirmed
  • Professor Daryl Glaser - Protection of Information Bill & Democracy - confirmed
  • Professor Jonathan Klaaren - Protection of Information Bill - confirmed

Media Freedom Organisations

  • Ms. Kate Skinner - Public Service Broadcasting Bill - confirmed
  • Ms. Ayesha Kajee - Threats to Freedom of Expression - confirmed
  • Mr. William Bird - Public Service Broadcasting Bill - confirmed
  • Ms. Prinola Govenden - ICASA Amendment Bill - confirmed

Media Lawyers

  • Professor Dario Milo - Constitutional Implications - confirmed
  • Ms Pamela Stein - Constitutional Implications - confirmed
  • Gilbert Marcus - will attend
  • Mr Glen Penfold - will attend

Programme

Moderator: Professor Tawana Kupe

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Wits University


Time Topic/Issue Presenter
1300 - 1305 Welcome Prof Tawana Kupe - Chair
1305 - 1315 Public Service Bill Ms Kate Skinner - SOS
1315 - 1325 Public Service Bill William Bird - MMA
1325 - 1335 ICASA Amendment Bill Ms Prinola Govenden - MMA
1335 - 1400 Questions & Comments Participants
1400 - 1410 Media Appeals Tribunal Prof Gavin Stewart - SANEF
1410 - 1420 Media Appeals Tribunal Mr. Joe Thloloe - Ombudsman
1420 - 1430 Showers, the Nellie, brown envelopes, leaks and the ethics of being a battleground. Prof. Franz Kruger - Wits
1430 -1440 Media Appeals Tribunal Prof Anton Harber Wits
1440 - 1500 Questions & Comments Participants
1500 - 1510 Protection of Information Bill Prof Jonathan Klaaren - Wits
1510 - 1520 Protection of Information Bill Bill Prof. Iain Currie - Wits
1520 - 1530 Relationship between Academic research and media freedom Prof. Anthony Butler - Wits
1530 - 1540 Protection of Info Bill & Democracy Prof Daryl Glaser
1540 -1600 Questions & Comments Participants
1600 - 1615 TEA Participants
1615 -1625 Threats to Freedom of Expression Ms Ayesha Kajee - FXI
1625 -1635 Shifts in ANC Media Policy Prof Jane Duncan – Rhodes
1635 -1645 Constitutional Implications Prof Dario Milo - Wits
1645 -1655 Constitutional Implications Pamela Stein – Webber Wentzel
1655 -1735 Questions and Comments Participants
1735- 1745 The Zimbabwe Case Drs Last Moyo & Sarah Chiumbu
1745 - 1800 Concluding Discussion Participants

08 September 2010

Where Do I Stand?

Where Do I Stand? – a documentary film that explores the experiences of seven young Capetonians during the xenophobic violence in South Africa in 2008 - will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 19 September at 6.15pm, on Monday 20 September at 8:30pm and on Tuesday 21 September at 8:30pm.

When xenophobic attacks broke out across South Africa in May 2008, many found themselves caught off guard, shocked by... violence that felt like a violation of the principles of their newly democratic nation. Over two months, 62 people were killed, hundreds wounded and over a hundred thousand displaced. In the midst of this violence, many young people, clad in the bright greens and maroons of their school uniforms, looted neighborhood shops while some of their classmates, refugees themselves, fled to safer ground. Some youth tried to find a way to help, but still more stood by, watching from their windows or on television.

WHERE: Labia on Orange
WHEN: 19th September 2010
TIME: 18h00

Encounters announces Audience Award winners

After a marathon 17-day run in Cape Town and a satellite in Johannesburg, Encounters is proud to announce the winners of the annual Audience Awards for Best South African and International Documentary.

The Best South African Documentary winner is:
The 16th Man directed by Clifford Bestall and
The Best International Documentary winner is:
Of Heart and Courage: BĂ©jart Ballet Lausanne directed by Arantxa Aguirre.

A special mention is given to the 2nd and 3rd runners up in both categories:
South African:
2. Afrikaaps directed by Dylan Valley
3. Thembi directed by Jo Menell

International:
2. Yes Men Fix the World directed by Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno
3. Sathima’s Windsong directed by Daniel A. Yon

The Audience Award referee, Professor Tim Dunne, Head of Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town, analyzed the eligible ballot forms submitted by the Cape Town festival-goers.

The 2010 programme of 50 films was selected from a record entry of over 800 films, and included several award winning and International festival favourites. Encounters was proud to host 29 South African and African films, and 26 International films.

“This year we challenged ourselves to secure most, if not all of the best films we shortlisted, despite some high screening costs. The popularity of local documentaries with our audiences is a clear indication of the calibre of the programmes selected”, said Festival Director Mandisa Zitha.

This year, Encounters broadened the Festival to two independent theatres, The Labia on Orange in Cape Town and The Bioscope in Johannesburg.

The Festival was organised on a minimal budget, due to funding challenges.

“Since its inception, Encounters has without doubt demonstrated that, even with limited resources, it is a festival that can be sustainable for many years to come,” said NFVF CEO Eddie Mbalo during the Festival opening ceremony. The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Festival.

The City of Cape Town came on board and pledged their support,
“The hosting of the encounters event shows how far the City has progressed in its push to become the host capital of major events in the World. having been one of the host cities for the recent 2010 FIFA World Cup event, Cape Town is looking forward to hosting more strategic events in order to consolidate this status. One of the major priorities in the City’s revised economic development strategy is the strengthening and growing of key sectors such as the creative industries and tourism that will contribute to the development of Cape Town. Supporting and hosting events like the Encounters Film Festival, a South African International Film Festival will add to the strengthening and growing of the film industry in Cape Town – film industry is part of the creative industries sector,” said Mansoor Mohamed, Executive Director: Economic Social Development and Tourism, City of Cape Town
This Festival and its projects are supported by:
The National Film and Video Foundation is the primary sponsor of the Festival. Encounters is made possible by the further support of the City of Cape Town, Cape Film Commission, Provincial Government of Western Cape, Arts & Culture Trust & Breadline Africa, The Times, Nu Metro, Tempest Car Hire, Out In Africa Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, French Embassy, British Council, Goethe Institut, German Consulate General Cape Town and Cape Town TV.

CFC Annual General Meeting 2010

The Cape Film Commission’s Annual General Meeting will take place at 14h00 (with registration starting at 13h00), on Wednesday 22 September 2010 at the Lookout Hill Tourist Facility in Khayelitsha. Click here for map.

In a lead up to- and celebration of Heritage Day the CFC will host the 2010 Annual General meeting at the Lookout Hill Tourist Centre in Khayelitsha. This year’s AGM will not only unveil the new CFC board that will take us forward into a new Western Cape film Sector Strategy, but will be an opportunity to recognise the rich diversity of our industry, our city and our province.

DATES TO WATCH:
Deadline for attendance/proxy forms:
16h00 – Friday, 17 September 2010

Deadline for Nominations:
16h00 – Monday, 13 September 2010

Nominations to be posted on CFC Website:
12h00 – Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Request for Change of resolution:
16h00 – Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Annual General Meeting Registration (at venue)
13h00 – 14h00, Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Annual General Meeting Start:
14h00 – Wednesday, 22 September 2010

For all the forms and main procedures download the CFC AGM INFO DOCUMENT 2010

Call for Nominations for CFC Board 2010 / 2011

Call for Nominations for CFC Board 2010/2011
The Cape Film Commission is currently calling for nominations for the 2010/2011 Board of Directors. The Cape Film Commission`s Board for 2010/2011 will be comprised of 14 seats, representing film industry, City and Provincial Government stakeholders.

2 x Corporate Representation
3 x SMME Representation
2 x Training and Development Representation
2 x HDI Representation
1 x CPA Representation (Appointed by Association)
1 x SAASP Representation (Appointed by Association)
1 x IPO Representation (Appointed by organization)
1 x City of Cape Town Representation (Appointed by Organisation)
1 x Western Cape Provincial Government Representation (Appointed by Organisation

The following seats are open for nomination for the 2010/2011 CFC Board:
Corporate
2 Seats SMME
1 Seat Training and Development
1 Seat HDI
1 Seat

The deadline for nominations is Monday 13th September at 16h00. To nominate candidates please ensure that you are a CFC member and that your details are up to date. We have added additional fields as well as a membership check on our new online update form.

For all the forms and main procedures download the CFC AGM INFO DOCUMENT 2010

06 September 2010

SOS News ICASA denies CTV right to broadcast, Right2know Campaign launched, updates on the SABC, SOS's Constitutional Hill Event

Dear All

A huge amount of things happening as always!

Firstly, I want to highlight the huge problems Cape TV is having. It seems ICASA has denied CTV a license to broadcast. Please see press statement below. As SOS we are planning to meet with ICASA and this issue will certainly be high on our agenda. Also, if you look at the statement Capetonians are requested to send letters of support for the station to ICASA Chair, Dr. Steve Mncube. See details below. I will keep you updated re: all developments.

Secondly, I am sure that most of you are now aware of the powerful Right2Know Campaign. The Campaign is aimed at highlighting the problems with the "Protection of Information"/ "Secrecy Bill". The Campaign has been launched in Cape Town and will be launched soon in Jhb. My understanding is that the launch date is 15 September. My opinion is that SOS should formally sign onto the campaign. The Bill fundamentally affects investigative journalism. What do people think? The campaign website is www.rtk.org.za. Please find excellent M&G article attached on the campaign.
On the more macro front SOS has been calling for the corporate governance breaches at the SABC to be decisively dealt with. Parliament needs to urgently re-convene its Parliamentary hearings into the issues of SABC governance and the turn-around strategy. The Committee must hold the hearing in the open - there is therefore no need to delay the hearing.
Finally, please do remember to come to our SOS/ Cosatu/ Constitutional Hill event on Tuesday 7th September starting at 6:30pm. We are looking at "The SABC crisis - finding lasting solutions". Also, we are very happy to announce that the Chair of the ICASA Council, Dr Steve Mncube has agreed to come and speak. Hope to see you all there.

Best
Kate

Cape Town TV Press Release by the M&G article:

2 September 2010

ICASA denies CTV right to broadcast

Cape Town TV (CTV), has been running for the past two years on temporary (one-year) broadcast licenses. Following the example of Soweto TV, which was granted a seven-year class license earlier this year, CTV also applied for a class license to enable it to continue broadcasting on a more sustainable basis.

In discussions with senior ICASA personnel, CTV was given assurances that its license application would be considered. However on receipt of CTV’s application, ICASA refused to consider it on the grounds that the Authority had instituted a moratorium on the granting of broadcast licenses to community television initiatives.

The reason for the moratorium was that there is a scarcity of available radio frequency spectrum and that this situation will only be altered with the advent of digital broadcasting, which will free up some of this spectrum.

But in terms of frequency issues, ICASA’s Technology and Engineering Department has established a plan for CTV. So there appears to be no good reason why ICASA should refuse CTV a license based on frequency issues, which the moratorium was expressly designed to address.

There even appears to be confusion within ICASA on this matter. Some ICASA personnel were under the impression that the moratorium would not apply to existing licensees, while others believed that no further licenses would be granted to any community TV applicants.

Even after the moratorium was instituted, broadcasting licenses have been granted to other community television initiatives. It is CTV’s belief that this constitutes an unfair practice, which renders the moratorium legally invalid.

In terms of the Electronic Communications Act, if ICASA does not refuse a class license on particular grounds specified in the Act within 60 days of the application being received, then the license is considered to be automatically granted. Based on this fact, CTV believes that it has fulfilled the necessary requirements and thus has a seven-year class license.

CTV has approached ICASA’s Council to review the decision, and hopes that a positive outcome will be forthcoming, to avoid the possibility of CTV being taken off air.

An aggravating factor that continues to plague CTV, along with all other community broadcasters, is the fact that it is forced to pay the same signal distribution tariffs as commercial and public service broadcasters. This is despite the non-profit status and developmental mandate of community broadcasters.

This situation persists because ICASA has not carried out an inquiry into transmission tariffs levied by the national signal distributor, Sentech, as it was mandated to do by the Broadcasting Act of 1999. Community broadcasters continue to bear the burden of this omission.

CTV has managed to pay about R700 000 to Sentech for signal distribution costs over the past two years, which is an achievement for a non-profit broadcaster in the early stages of development. But the channel is still in arrears and is consequently under threat of disconnection for this reason.

Cape Town’s community television channel is a thriving and sustainable initiative that is often held up as a model for community television in South Africa. The channel has been on air for two years now and broadcasts 24 hours a day to a monthly audience of 1.3 million people. CTV’s turnover has doubled for the past two years in a row.

CTV is calling on Capetonians to express their endorsement for the channel by emailing letters of support to the chairperson of ICASA, Dr. Stephen Sipho Mncube, at chairperson@icasa.org.za.

ENDS

For further information contact CTV Station Manager Karen Thorne on Karen@capetowntv.org, or telephone 021 447 8377.

Invitation to attend the sos coalition, Cosatu and constitution hill joint seminar

The "SOS: Support Public Broadcasting" Coalition

30th August 2010

INVITATION TO ATTEND THE SOS COALITION, COSATU AND CONSTITUTION HILL JOINT SEMINAR ON: THE SABC CRISIS – FINDING LASTING SOLUTIONS.

The SOS Coalition in partnership with COSATU and Constitution Hill take great pleasure in inviting you to a seminar on “The SABC Crisis – Finding Lasting Solutions” to be held on the 7th September 2010.

A number of recent events point to a deepening and worsening governance and management crisis at the SABC. The crises include issues surrounding the appointment of the Head of News, and alleged problems with financial management including the distribution of bonuses etc. We hope the seminar will air all the issues and allow for frank discussion with the purpose of finding “lasting solutions” to this very important public institution.

The partners for this event are:

The “SOS: Support Public Broadcasting” Coalition which represents a number of trade unions (including Cosatu, Fedusa and Bemawu), a host of NGOs (including Media Monitoring Africa, the Freedom of Expression Institute and Misa-SA), CBOs (including the Freedom of Expression Network), industry related bodies (including the South African Screen Federation), academics and freedom of expression activists. The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and Constitution Hill are also co-hosting the event.

The venue for the seminar is the historic Constitution Hill, the home of the protector of our basic rights and freedoms.

Invited speakers include:
  • Minister of Communications: General (Rtd.) Siphiwe Nyanda (tbc)
  • SABC Board representative
  • ICASA representative
  • Mr. Patrick Craven: COSATU Spokesperson
  • Ms. Kate Skinner: SOS Coordinator
  • Mr, Feizel Mamdoo – Co-Chair South African Screen Federation (SASFED)
The discussion will be moderated by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand, Professor Tawana Kupe.

The details of the seminar are:

Date: 7th September 2010
Time: 18h30 – 20h30
Venue: Old Fort Conference Room, Constitution Hill.
(Entrance on Kotze Street and parking is on Joubert Street)

Please rsvp with Jayshree Pather (jayshree.pather@vodamail.co.za) by Friday, 3rd September 2010.