Govt To Review Broadcasting Act

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE government is seeking to amend the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) with a view of reviewing the foreign shareholding structure in the broadcasting sector.

Speaking at a broadcasting conference held in Harare Friday, Deputy Information Minister Kindness Paradza confirmed the BSA would be repealed soon.

“As part of the other highlights in the amendment of the BSA, are that it will to allow foreign shareholding in entities and will award broadcasting service licences for up to 40% as a measure of encouraging the development of the  broadcasting sector yet still ensuring that Zimbabweans remain in control of broadcasting services,” he said.

“This entails amending Section 8 of the principal Act, which provides that broadcasting service licences shall be issued to entities owned 100% by Zimbabweans citizens.

Paradza added the government would continue to mobilise resources for investment in the growth of the media and information sector.

“The country’s mobile communication reach is phenomenal while government continues to mobilise resources to invest in the growth of the media and information sector.

“This is a sector which offers great possibilities for investment and growth. In general terms, this sector aims to bridge the gap between means and ends towards a desired vision.”

Paradza revealed the government had licensed 14 community radio stations and six national free-to-air television stations from last year.

In addition, he said seven campus radio stations have also been issued with broadcasting licenses.

He revealed a Tanzanian based media house, Azam Media was also recently awarded a Content Distribution service license.

“The company is local but the shareholders are foreigners,” he said.