ICASA has published its Final Amendment Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts ahead of the 2019 national elections.
The regulations contain the guidelines for political election broadcasts (PEB) and political adverts (PA), and how they can be carried by broadcasting services.
“The most important aspect for the regulations during the election period is finding the right balance between the respect for editorial independence and the need for rules to guarantee that media coverage does not disadvantage other participants,” said ICASA councillor Nomonde Gongxeka-Seopa.
ICASA said broadcasters are encouraged to provide unbiased and independent coverage of the elections in the interest of the general public.
ICASA’s regulations require broadcasting service provides to make 10 time slots of 50 seconds each available for PEBs every day.
This must be done in accordance with the rest of the regulations concerning the allocation of airtime slots, ICASA said.
Additionally, all party election broadcasts must be clearly identified and announced in a similar manner to one another, and they are not allowed to exceed 50 seconds.
ICASA also requires that broadcasters identify political adverts by using a top and tail disclaimer.
These amendments came into effect on 25 February 2019, upon their publication in the Government Gazette.