SOS and MMA have extensive experience in acting in the public interest on matters of freedom of expression and specifically public service broadcasting. Both organisations have extensive experience in contributing to ICASA and Department of Communications- processes with regard to broadcasting.Further, as the DTPS is aware, SOS and MMA are concerned about the electronic communications environment as a whole, even though traditionally their area of focus has been on broadcasting and, in particularly, on the public broadcaster, the SABC. MMA has over the last year held a series of multi-stakeholder workshops dealing with critical issues relating to internet governance, from the Hate Speech Bill, the Film & Publications Bill and Internet Regulation to the Copyright Amend Bill and the Cyber Crimes and Cyber Security Bill. Accordingly, MMA and SOS are well placed to offer informed input on this Bill.
In responding to the issues raised in the Bill, SOS and MMA do not necessarily deal with all the issues raised in the Bill or in the order in which they arise in the Bill, nor do they confine themselves to the issues canvassed in the Bill. In making these submissions, SOS and MMA are attempting to assist the DTPS and the Portfolio Committees in realising:
the depth and breadth of the challenges facing the electronic communications sector;
the need for a legislative framework that recognises the reality of convergence; and
the need to ensure independent regulation of electronic communications, including as provided for in section 192 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution).