Ruling party wants regulated streaming - report

2017-12-20 18:45 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Front-runner and former wife of President Jacob Zuma, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and front-runner and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa share a laugh at the delayed start of the ANC elective conference. (Themba Hadebe, AP)

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Johannesburg - The ANC has listed an "ANC TV" media asset, the need to develop a regulatory framework for streaming services like Showmax and Netflix and an automation of government services as part of its objectives. 

These were tabled in the ANC’s Gauteng Provincial General Council report released at the party’s 54th elective conference.

The ANC said it would deploy “capable cadres” to the SABC board to win the trust of professionals and develop hegemony, and have ownership over a media asset such as the ANC TV.

“The ANC must have strategic ownership of media assets, including ANC TV, which would enable us to tell our own stories. This will help us in developing our own narrative. This also allows for the positioning of the parliamentary channel as a civic education tool, on free to air channel,” the Provincial General Council report read. 

The report, which was released on Monday, highlighted key ICT objectives of the ANC among other issues. 

Within the ICT section of the report, the ruling party said that a priority would be the finalisation of the licensing of the Post Bank, the integration of the Film Publication Board and Icasa into one regulatory body and the development of cybersecurity measures to tackle fake news. 

Other key ICT-related issues highlighted by the ANC in the report read: 

• Post Office: Government needs to finalise licensing of the Post Bank.

• Notwithstanding the current fiscal constraints government should speed up the rollout of free Wifi in universities, TVETs and community centres.

• ICT as enabler must drive growth in the SMME sector, in order to induce economic growth.

• In line with the developments of the 4th Industrial Revolution, Government must have digitalised and automated systems to improve access and fast tracking service delivery in sectors such as Education, Home Affairs, Social Security, IFMS, etc.

• The current Departments of Telecommunications and Postal Service must be consolidated and integrated into a new Ministry of Digital Economy.

• Government must fast track the rollout of broadband in peri-urban communities.

• Integration of the Film Publication Board (FPB) and ICASA into one regulatory organ.

• We should develop a National Content Strategy promoting and protecting SA linguistic and cultural diversity, patriotism and national interest. This includes the prioritisation of local languages, in place of English/Afrikaans.

• Develop a regulatory framework for Over The Top services (OTTs) e.g. Showmax, Netflix, Digital Messaging services, etc.

• Develop Cyber Security measures to deal with the scourge of fake news.

• The ongoing efforts to merge the ICT infrastructure companies such as Sentech and Broadband Infraco into one new state owned Infrastructure Company must be accelerated. The new company must also have access to huge broadband capacity owned by PRASA, Transnet, Eskom, Sanral, etc. to drive a developmental mandate.

• A decisive skills revolution agenda must be adopted and implemented in order to ignite requisite skills required in the new 4th industrial revolution for all citizens regardless of geography, class and age.

• A new Institution of Higher learning focusing on ICT skills training must urgently be established.

• Local content as well as community media must be prioritised, in terms of DTT finalisation as well as fighting the issues of monopoly in the paid for television (Pay TV) sector, in order to encourage media diversity.

• Train 1 million young people every five years in broadcasting and digital skills, as per issues of the internet of things, to enable them to participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution for the sake of economic growth.

• Digital broadcasting to be completed by December 2018.

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