The SABC announced it has been granted full exemption from local television content quotas by ICASA.
“The approval was based on the SABC’s exemption application to ICASA, in an attempt to mitigate the impact that COVID-19 has and could have on the corporation’s local productions, as all production houses had to shut down when the national lockdown was announced,” said the SABC in a statement.
It said that in light of the decision, production houses will resume production as and when they are ready, in compliance with the regulations set by the government.
“The SABC is in discussions with the various production houses and the industry regarding the requirements to commence production,” said the SABC.
“Each production will be managed on a case by case basis, noting that some production companies have opted not to restart productions during level 4.”
The SABC said the approval was based on the SABC’s exemption application made to ICASA.
This application was an attempt to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its local productions, said the SABC, as all production houses had to shut down when lockdown started.
“The SABC is therefore pleased to have the flexibility to conduct its business accordingly, amid the current pandemic conditions that have significantly transformed business sectors, including broadcasting,” said the SABC.
Commitment to local content
The SABC said that the relaxation of these quotas does not reflect any intent to reduce the number of local productions it produces and broadcasts on TV.
“It must be emphasised that the relaxation of the regulations by ICASA is to mitigate the risk of non-compliance by the public broadcaster and does not reflect an intent by the Corporation not to execute and deliver on its mandate,” said the SABC.
“The public broadcaster needs local productions as part of its business model.”
“Therefore, the SABC will do everything within the regulations to grow its business while assisting local production houses it works with.”