THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector
 
 
    HOME THE PROJECT DIRECTORYJOINARCHIVESEARCH E:ACTIVISMBLOGSMSFREEDOM FONELINKS CONTACT US
 

 


Back to Index

Broadcasting Services Act, 2001
Incorporates Act 3/2001, 22/2001 (s. 4)1 , 26/2001 (s. 10)2 ; 6/20033
September 19, 2003

Contents

PART III

Licensing of Broadcasting Services and Systems

6. Repealed
7. Broadcasting and signal carrier licences
8. Persons disqualified to be licensed
9. Restrictions in relation to the issue of certain licences
10. Application for licence
11. Terms and conditions of licence
12. Form and period of validity of licence
13. Register of licences
14. Renewal of licence
15. Amendment of licence
16. Suspension and cancellation of licences
17. Licensee to inform Authority of changes
18. Transfer of licences prohibited

 

6   …4   TOP

 

7   Broadcasting and signal carrier licences   TOP

(1) Subject to this Act, and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Act [Chapter 12:01], no person shall provide a broadcasting service or operate as a signal carrier in Zimbabwe except in accordance with a broadcasting licence or a signal carrier licence, as the case may be.

(2) A broadcasting licence shall authorise the licensee to provide any one of the following classes of broadcasting service—

(a) a commercial broadcasting service;

(b) a community broadcasting service;

(c) a subscription satellite broadcasting service;

(d) a subscription cable broadcasting service;

(e) a subscription narrowcasting service;

(f) an open narrowcasting service;

(g) a datacasting service;

(h) a roadcasting service;

(i) a railcasting service;

(j) a webcasting service.

(3) A signal carrier licence shall authorise a licensee to operate a signal transmitting station for the purpose of transmitting a radio or television broadcasting service.

(4) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to—

(a) a fine not exceeding five million dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, where the offence involves the unlicensed provision of any broadcasting service referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) of subsection (2); or

(b) a fine not exceeding level ten or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months, where the offence involves the unlicensed provision of any broadcasting service referred to in paragraphs (g) to (j) of subsection (2)

or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

(5) In addition to any punishment it may impose under subsection (4) and without derogation from its powers under any enactment, a court convicting a person of contravening subsection (1) shall declare forfeited to the State any equipment or apparatus used for the purpose of or in connection with the offence.

(6) The proviso to subsection (1) and subsections (3), (4), (5) and (6) of section 62 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act [Chapter 9:07] shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in relation to a declaration in terms of subsection (5).

(7)5 Both the person responsible for recording the programmes used in a railcasting or roadcasting service and the operator of the public service vehicle or railway service who broadcasts such programmes for reception by passengers of such public service vehicle or railway service shall apply for a licence to provide a railcasting or roadcasting service, as the case may be.

 

8   Persons disqualified to be licensed   TOP

(1) Subject to subsection (3), a broadcasting licence shall be issued only to individuals who are citizens of Zimbabwe and ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe or to a body corporate in which a controlling interest is held, whether through any individual, company or association or otherwise, by one or more individuals who are citizens of Zimbabwe and ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) "controlling interest" means—

(a) all of the securities in the body corporate; or

(b) securities representing all of the share capital of the body corporate; or

(c) securities equivalent in value to 100 per centum of the share capital of the body corporate; or

(d) securities entitling the holders thereof to all the votes in the affairs of the body corporate.

(3) No licence for a community broadcasting service, commercial broadcasting service or datacasting service shall be issued to a person other than a body corporate.

(4) No licence shall be issued to an applicant who does not comply with Part IV.

(5) No applicant that is a body corporate shall be qualified to be licensed if any one person holds or controls more than 10 per centum of the securities in that body corporate.

(6) No person—

(a) whose broadcasting service or signal transmission station is wholly or partly funded by foreign donations or contributions; or

(b) which is a subsidiary company as defined in section 143 the Companies Act [Chapter 24:03], or whose broadcasting service is provided as agent for, or under a franchise from, another person; or

(c) convicted of an offence in terms of this Act, the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] or the Radiocommunication Services Act [Chapter 12:04] before its repeal by the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05];

shall be licensed.7

(7) No applicant shall be licensed if the applicant or any director of the applicant—

(a) has, in terms of a law in force in any country—

(i) been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged; or

(ii) made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition with, his creditors which has not been rescinded or set aside; or

(b) has, within the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his proposed appointment, been convicted—

(i) in Zimbabwe, of an offence; or

(ii) outside Zimbabwe, in respect of conduct which, if committed in Zimbabwe, would constitute an offence;

and sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding six months imposed without the option of a fine, whether or not any portion has been suspended, and has not received a free pardon.

 

9   Restrictions in relation to the issue of certain licences   TOP

(1) Only one licence to provide a national free-to-air radio broadcasting service and one licence to provide a national free-to-air television broadcasting service shall be issued in addition to the national broadcasting services provided by any public broadcaster.

(2) Only one signal carrier licence shall be issued to a person other than a public broadcaster.

(3) With the exception of a public broadcaster, a broadcasting licence and a signal carrier licence shall not be issued to the same person.

 

10   Application for licence   TOP

(1) The Authority shall, if it determines that there is a need for the provision of additional broadcasting services, and after carrying out its functions in terms of the First Schedule, publish a notice in the Gazette and in a national newspaper inviting applications for licences to provide the broadcasting services or systems specified in the notice.

(2) Subject to subsection (1), an application for a licence shall be submitted to the Authority in the form and manner prescribed, and be accompanied by the prescribed fee and such information or documents as may be prescribed or as the Authority may require, including information concerning any tariff required in terms of section 44.

(3) Within seven days of submitting his application in the prescribed manner and form, an applicant shall publish his application in a national newspaper at his own expense and in a manner and form approved by the Authority, and the Authority shall not consider the application until it has received proof of such publication.

(4) Within 14 days of the publication of an application for a licence, any person having any objection to the application may lodge a written objection with the Authority.

(5) The Authority shall examine all applications and objections thereto with a view to short-listing those applicants who, in its opinion, may qualify to be licensed.

(6) Every applicant for a licence to provide any of the broadcasting services specified in paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (e) and (f) of subsection (2) of section seven, who is short-listed in terms of subsection (5), shall be required to attend a public inquiry conducted by the Authority for the purpose of determining his or her suitability to be licensed, at a time and place to be determined in a written notice to such applicant.8

(7) The Authority may refuse to consider an application if, upon receiving satisfactory proof of service of the notice referred to in subsection (6), the applicant fails to attend the inquiry.

(8) For the purposes of a public inquiry held in terms of subsection (6), the members of the Authority shall have all of the powers, rights, privileges and duties conferred or imposed upon a commissioner by the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07], other than the power to order a person to be detained in custody, and sections 9 to 13 and 15 to 18 of that Act shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in relation to any hearing conducted by the Authority and to any person summoned to give or giving evidence for the purpose of the hearing.

(9)9 After a consideration of an application for a licence in terms of this section, whether after a public inquiry or otherwise, the Authority may issue or refuse to issue the licence sought and notify the applicant of its decision and, in the case of a refusal to issue a licence, of the reasons thereof.

(10)10 … [Repealed]

(11) Within 30 days after the issue of a licence in terms of subsection (10) the licensee shall, at his own expense, cause the licence to be published in a national newspaper.

 

11   Terms and conditions of licence   TOP

(1) A licence shall be issued subject to—

(a) this Act; and

(b) the standard conditions specified in the Fifth Schedule; and

(c) such terms and conditions as the Minister may reasonably determine after consultation with the Authority:

Provided that conditions of broadcasting licences must be relevant to the category of broadcasting services to which those licences relate.

(2) Without limiting the range of conditions that may be imposed, the Minister may in addition impose a condition on a broadcasting licensee—

(a) requiring the licensee to comply with a code of conduct that is applicable to the licensee in terms of section 24; or

(b) designed to ensure that a breach of a condition by the licensee does not recur.

(3) Every licence for the provision of a radio, television or subscription cable broadcasting service shall be issued subject to the local content conditions specified in the Sixth Schedule.

(4) Not less than 10 per centum of total programming content broadcast by any licensee shall be—

(a) in any of the national aboriginal languages of Zimbabwe other than Shona and Ndebele; and

(b) in the case of a television broadcasting licensee, in a manner that may be understood by audiences who have a hearing impairment.

(5) A licensee shall make one hour cumulatively per week of its broadcasting time available for the purpose of enabling the Government of the day, at its request, to explain its policies to the nation.

(6) A licensee shall observe and comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act [Chapter 26:01] when providing his service.

(7) A licensee shall commence to provide a broadcasting service or operate as a signal carrier, as the case may be, within six months of the date of the issue of the licence concerned.

(8) No licensee shall, unless generally or specially authorised in writing by the Minister, employ a person who is not a citizen of Zimbabwe and ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe to work or assist in the working or maintenance of a licensed broadcasting service or signal transmitting station.

(9) It shall be a condition of every signal carrier licence that the licensee shall comply with the International Telecommunication Constitution,

(10) A licensee shall not broadcast outside the licence area of the licence unless he proves to the satisfaction of the Authority that broadcasting outside that licence area occurred accidentally or is a necessary result of the provision of the licensee’s broadcasting services within the licence area.

 

12   Form and period of validity of licence   TOP

(1) A licence shall be in the prescribed form and shall specify—

(a) the name and address of the licensee; and

(b) the date of issue and expiry of the licence; and

(c) any terms and conditions in addition to those imposed by this Act subject to which the licence is issued; and

(d) any other matters which the Minister considers necessary to give effect to this Act; and

(e) in the case of a corporate licensee, the shareholding structure of the licensee and the names and other relevant details of the directors; and

(f) the sources and manner of funding of the licensee.

(2)11 A licence for a broadcasting service specified in paragraphs (a) to (f) of subsection (2) of section seven shall be valid for a period of ten years.

(3)12 A licence for a broadcasting service specified in paragraphs (g) to (j) of subsection (2) of section seven shall be valid for a period of two years.

 

13   Register of licences   TOP

(1) The Authority shall maintain or cause to be maintained a register of licences in which shall be recorded, in relation to each licence—

(a) the name of the licensee; and

(b) any terms and conditions subject to which the licence was issued; and

(c) any renewal, amendment, suspension or cancellation of the licence.

(2) The register kept in terms of subsection (1) shall be open for inspection by members of the public at all reasonable times at the offices of the Authority on payment of the prescribed fee.

 

14   Renewal of licence   TOP

(1) Subject to this Act, the holder of a licence may renew it before it expires.

(2) An application for the renewal of a licence shall be submitted to the Authority in the form and manner and within the period prescribed, and be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(3)13 Subsections (3), (4), (9), (10) and (11) of section ten shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to an application to renew the licence.

 

15   Amendment of licence14   TOP

(1) Subject to this section, the Authority may at any time amend a licence or any term or condition of a licence—

(a) to correct any error in the licence; or

(b) for any reasons connected with regulating the technical administration, technical operation or general efficiency of telephony, telegraphy, posts, wireless broadcasting or television, or connected with the interests of defence, public safety, public order, the economic interests of the State, public morality or public health; or

(c) if the licensee requests an amendment; or

(d) if the Authority considers the amendment necessary to reflect the true nature of the service, system or business which the licensee is conducting.

(2) Before amending a licence in terms of subsection (1), otherwise than at the request of the licensee, the Authority to notify the licensee in writing of the nature of the amendment it proposes to make and of its reasons for wishing to make the amendment, and shall give the licensee thirty days to make representations in the matter.

(3) Where a licensee requests an amendment of its licence and the Authority—

(a) refuses the request, it shall, within ten days after reaching its decision, notify the licensee in writing of its decision and of its reasons for it;

(b) proposes to amend the license as requested, it shall afford the Minister an opportunity to make representations to it concerning the proposal, and subsections (9) and (11) of section ten shall apply to such proposal as if it were a proposal to issue a licence.

 

16   Suspension and cancellation of licences   TOP

(1)15 Subject to this section, the Authority, on its own initiative or at the request of the Minister, may suspend or cancel any licence if there is evidence that—

(a) the licence was issued in error or through fraud or the misrepresentation or non-disclosure of a material fact by the licensee; or

(b) the licensee has contravened any provision of this Act that is applicable to him; or

(c) the licensee misrepresents the service or system he offers to the public; or (d) the licensee has ceased to provide the service or system specified in the licence; or

(e) the licensee has failed to comply with any term or condition of the licence; or

(f) in the case of a licensee which is a body corporate, the licensee has been provisionally or finally wound up or placed under judicial management; or

(g) in the case of a licensee who is an individual, the estate of the licensee has been provisionally or finally sequestrated; or

(h) the licensee has acted in a manner prejudicial to the defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health of Zimbabwe; or

(i) the licensee has repeatedly breached one or more provisions of the code of conduct applicable to that licensee in terms of section 24, or any standards determined in terms of section 25.

(2)16 Before taking any action in terms of subsection (1), the Authority shall notify the licensee in writing of its intention to suspend or cancel the licence concerned and the reasons for doing so, and shall call upon the licensee to show cause to the Authority, within seven days of receiving the notice, why the licence should not be suspended or cancelled, as the case may be.

(3)17 After receiving any representations from the licensee in terms of subsection (2) the Authority shall, if it is of the opinion that the evidence referred to in subsection (1) justifies such a course, institute a public inquiry for the purpose of determining whether or not the licence in question should be suspended or cancelled.

(4) For the purposes of a public inquiry held in terms of subsection (3) the members of the Authority shall have all of the powers, rights, privileges and duties conferred or imposed upon a commissioner by the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07], other than the power to order a person to be detained in custody , and sections 9 to 13 and 15 to 18 of that Act shall apply, mutatis mutandis, in relation to any hearing conducted by the Authority and to any person summoned to give or giving evidence for the purpose of the hearing.

(5)18 If, at the conclusion of a public inquiry held in terms of subsection (3), the Authority is satisfied for any reason specified in subsection (1) that the licence concerned should be suspended or cancelled, the Authority shall, by notice in writing to the licensee, suspend or cancel the licence or take such other action as it considers appropriate, and publish a notice in the Gazette of such suspension or cancellation or other action.

(6) No licence shall be of any force or effect during any period of its suspension.

 

17   Licensee to inform Authority of changes   TOP

(1) A licensee shall without delay, but in any case no later than 14 days after he becomes aware of the alteration, inform the Authority of any material alteration in the information or particulars furnished by him when he applied for his licence.

(2) A licensee shall without delay inform the Authority of any transfer to or by any single person of more than 10 per centum of the shares in the licensee.

 

18   Transfer of licences prohibited   TOP

No licensee shall assign, cede, pledge, transfer or sell his licence to any other person, or surrender his programming duties to another entity outside his establishment. Any such assignment, cession, pledge, transfer, sale or surrender shall be void.


1 Criminal Penalties Amendment Act, 2001 (commencement: 20th May, 2002).
2 Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (Commercialisation) Act, 2001 (commencement: 2nd February, 2002)
3 Broadcasting Services Amendment Act, 2003 (commencement: 19th September. 2003).

4 Section repealed by s. 5 of Act 6/2003.
5 Subsection substituted by s. 6 of Act 6/2003.
6 Subsection inserted by s. 6 of Act 6/2003.
7 Subsection substituted by s. 10(c) of Act 26/2001.
8 Subsection substituted by s. 7 of Act 6/2003.
9 Subsection substituted by s. 7 of Act 6/2003.
10 Subsection (10) repealed by s. 7 of Act 6/2003.
11 Subsection substituted by s. 8 of Act 6/2003.
12 Subsection substituted by s. 8 of Act 6/2003.
13 Subsection substituted by s. 9 of Act 6/2003.
14 Section substituted by s. 10 of Act 6/2003.
15 Introductory words amended by s. 11 of Act 6/2003.
16 Subsection amended by s. 11 of Act 6/2003.
17 Subsection amended by s. 11 of Act 6/2003.
18 Subsection substituted by s. 11 of Act 6/2003.



Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.

TOP