Broadcasting Bill awaits Parliament approval
The current long wait for the merger of the two state entities to form one formidable corporation just like the SABC in South Africa will come through with the passing of Swaziland Broadcasting Bill of 2016. The Bill that has been in and out of the attorney general’s office since 2010 is shaping well having been taken back to stakeholders for their constructive input.
The Bill will not only be for the establishment of the Swaziland Broadcasting Corporation but will also pave way for the licencing and regulation of the public, commercial and community radios in Swaziland.
The Swaziland Broadcasting Corporation will amalgamate the operations and resources of the two state broadcasting services into a national public broadcaster. The corporation shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its corporate name.
The Bill of 2016, which is yet to be tabled in Parliament by the minister of information, communication and technology will also provide for regulation of broadcasting services in the country.
Once this legislation is passed to law, members of the public will be able to experience a a three tier system of public, commercial and community radio broadcasting . The proposed new law looks at broadcasting as a contributing factor to socio-economic development of society, nation building, provision of educational issues and strengthening of the spiritual and moral fiber.
The Bill is also going to fast tracked for the purposes of provision for the licencing of the Corporation and providing for all matters incidental to public broadcasting.
Director Phesheya Dube at the Ministry of ICT said “the bill is with the attorney general’s office and it has been taken to stakeholders after their contribution from its conceptualisation, drafting stages and stakeholders are clear on the bill and its good intention to the broadcasting sector. We hope it will be one of the bills to be presented in the sitting of Parliament soon”.
AIRWAVES: Radio communications and a transmitter.