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SABC, e.tv, YFM and Capricorn FM sign funding agreements with the MDDA

Capricorn FM and YFM are part of the new broadcasting service licensees to sign a funding agreement commencing 01 April 2009 with the MDDA (a statutory development agency for promoting, supporting and ensuring media development and diversity, set up as a partnership between the South African Government and major print and broadcasting media companies, in terms of the MDDA Act No. 14 of 2002) for a period as long as the broadcast service licensees hold the individual commercial sound broadcasting license.
The agreement will enable the Broadcast Service Licensees to comply with the ICASA Regulation published on the 10th October 2008, prescribing annual contributions of licensees to the MDDA or the Universal Service and Access Fund. Broadcast Service Licensees will accordingly contribute 0.2% of its annual turnover, derived from its licence activities to the MDDA.

In 2004, Broadcast Media (SABC, Primedia Broadcasting, MNET, Kagiso Broadcasting, MIDI TV) together with Print Media (Media 24, CTP, Independent Newspapers and AVUSA) committed to supporting the noble work of the Agency for five years. It's now been five years which has been a successful period for the Agency in the pursuit of its mandate and led to (amongst other achievements) more than 259 beneficiaries supported with about R90m. All of the MDDA achievements over the last five years are thanks to the Government (whose valuable support for the Agency through GCIS and the Presidency has made its work manageable) and the funding partners of the MDDA.

In signing the funding agreement, SABC, e.tv and YFM join Primedia (PTY) LTD; Jacaranda FM; East Coast Radio; MNET; Multichoice, Algoa FM, Capricorn FM and OFM and on the print media side they join Media 24, CTP, Independent Newspapers and AVUSA. This is a show of confidence in the mandate and work of the MDDA.

These signings are renewing the existing Funding Agreement for another period ranging from five years (the print media), six years (some broadcasters) to as long as some Broadcast Service Licensees hold the individual commercial sound broadcasting licenses in terms of the Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005.

Media 24, CTP, Independent Newspapers and AVUSA, have agreed through PMSA and the Agency to contribute a flat fee of R1.2m for three years and R1m for the fourth and the fifth year of the Funding Agreement. This agreement is in acknowledgement of the challenges facing newspaper industry and the uncertainties thereof in the five year period of the Funding Agreement.

The Agency will allocate 90% of these contributions to broadcast media projects and print media projects respectively and 10% to its administrative costs.

The MDDA welcomes this expression of confidence by the funding partners to the Agencies ability to do its work in accordance with its mandate, commits to continue developing and diversifying the media landscape in terms of the MDDA Act and adhering to the dictates of the Public Finance and Management Act.

We look forward to signing new funding agreements the other broadcasting service licensees who have not yet committed to the relationship [Kaya FM, Classic FM, Radio North West, M-Power and the Makana Radio Communication (Heart FM & Igagasi FM)]; strengthen our relationship and work together towards ensuring that each and every South African citizen has access to a choice of a diverse range of media.

13 Oct 2009 12:28

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