ICASA clarifies procedure for commenting on TOP TV porn plans

Deadline extended to Monday, January 21

People have been submitting written comments about TopTV’s latest porn channel plans but they have not been following the correct procedure, says the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in a media release published today.

The correct procedure is spelled out in the media release, which also says that people have until Monday, January 21, to make written submissions after which ICASA will decide how to proceed with TopTV’s application to launch three pornographic channels. Today (Friday, January 18) was the original cut-off date for submission according to a notice of Top TV’s application published in the Government Gazette of December 19, 2012, which said people had 21 working days to submit comments.

The submission procedure, which was published in the Government Gazette, together with a copy of Top TV’s application, is as follows:

1. All written submissions, responses and other correspondences must be directed to Ms Ndondo Dube by email on pndube@icasa.org.za or by fax on (011) 566 3200 or hand-delivered to the Authority’s Head Office in Sandton.

2. Persons who lodge the representations or make submissions, shall at the same time of lodgement, furnish proof to the satisfaction of the Authority that a copy of the same representation has been sent to the CEO of Top TV Mr KE Mbalo by email on embalo@toptv.co.za or by fax on (011) 582 8308 or hand delivered at 28 Saddle Drive, Woodmead Office Park, Woodmead, 2191 or registered post to Private Bag X019, Rivonia 2128.

3. TopTV is entitled to respond in writing to written representations made by interested parties on the application; and such responses are to be lodged with the Authority within a particular time period. TopTV is also required to furnish a copy of the same response to the relevant person that has made such written representation.

In a press statement released by the struggling pay-TV operator on Thursday, TopTV’s acting CEO Eddie Mbalo said that their planned bouquet of pornographic channels has been welcomed by a “vast majority of South Africans”, reports Channel 24.

TopTV, currently under business rescue under the Companies Act, believes the 24 hour porn channels, Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice will help it to survive.

“All the material will be blocked with a double layered PIN,” said TopTV in its new application.

Family Policy Institute (FPI) president Errol Naidoo has said that he will call for a nationwide boycott of the pay broadcaster, as well as a boycott of all its advertisers and sponsors if its porn bid succeeds.

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