Broad­cast­ing Bill awaits Par­lia­ment ap­proval

Observer on Saturday - - News -

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.

Op­er­a­tions

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.

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