n South African Journal on Human Rights - Ten years after the transition : the emergence of a broadcasting jurisprudence in South Africa

Volume 19, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



Since South Africa's transition to democracy, the manner in which the broadcasting industry is regulated has been transformed. This transformation has been achieved principally through the enactment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 153 of 1993 and the Broadcasting Act 4 of 1999. A decade after the commencement of the transition, a broadcasting jurisprudence (based on the judicial interpretation of some of the provisions of these statutes) has begun to emerge through several High Court judgments, as well as one judgment each by the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court. Most of these judgments were given in judicial review proceedings in respect of decisions by the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa regarding applications for broadcasting licences. These judgments not only deal with the interpretation of the broadcasting statutes but also illustrate the application of the principles of administrative law in the context of the broadcasting statutes. It is possible to discern divergent nuances in the approach taken by different divisions of the High Court to their supervisory function over the proceedings of the broadcasting regulatory authority. The courts have also given an indication of their attitude to applications for interim relief pending the finalisation of review proceedings.

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