n South African Journal on Human Rights - Freedom of expression and the regulation of broadcasting

Volume 22, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-7203



This article considers whether the statutory regulation of broadcasting infringes the right to freedom of expression in the South African Constitution. In particular, attention is given to the question whether the statutory prohibition on broadcasting except under a licence issued by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is a limitation of freedom of the media. It is concluded (with reference to English, European, Canadian, American and South African jurisprudence), that the right to freedom of expression does not confer an unqualified right to broadcast. It is also concluded that a decision by ICASA to turn down an application for a broadcasting licence does not limit the right to freedom of expression and need not be justified under s 36 of the Constitution. However, such a decision is subject to judicial review on administrative-law grounds.

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