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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 IX

General

39. Public service obligations of licensees
40. Complaint procedure of licensees
41. Broadcasting licensees to keep records of programmes
42. Inspections
43. Appeals
44. Approval of tariffs by Authority
45. Exemption from liability for Authority
46. Regulatory powers of Minister
47. Savings and transitional provisions
48. Amendment of Cap 12:01 and Cap 12:05

 

39   Public service obligations of licensees   TOP

(1) In this section—

"emergency" means any event or circumstance resulting from a major accident, natural disaster, epidemic, civil unrest or public disorder or war which is declared to be such by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette;

"emergency organisation" means, in respect of any locality, the police, defence forces, civil defence and any fire, ambulance or other emergency service;

"national event" means any event or occasion which is declared to be such by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette.

(2) A licensee shall provide such information and facilities as will enable a person to communicate with an emergency organisation free of charge in the event of an emergency occurring within any area serviced by the emergency organisation.

(3) A licensee shall, as a public service, provide sufficient coverage of national events.

(4) Every licensee shall, when providing an information service, provide a fair, balanced, accurate and complete service.

(5) Every subscription satellite broadcasting licensee shall transmit an unencoded signal from a public broadcaster.

 

40   Complaint procedure of licensees   TOP

(1) Every licensee shall establish a procedure for dealing with complaints by consumers of its services which ensures that—

(a) every such complaint is attended to within a reasonable time and in any case within 14 days by a person having the authority to effect any remedial action that may be necessary; and

(b) the complainant is made aware of his right to complain to the Authority if the complaint is not remedied.

(2) Every licensee shall keep a record of all complaints made by consumers and make the record available for inspection at the request of the Authority.

(3) If no complaint referred to in subsection (1) is attended to or remedied within the time there specified, the consumer concerned may lodge the complaint in a prescribed form with the Authority.

(4) The Minister shall, on the advice of the Authority, prescribe the form and manner in which complaints shall be dealt with.

(5) The Authority shall not deal with a complaint that is the subject of litigation pending before a court.

 

41   Broadcasting licensees to keep records of programmes   TOP

In addition to the requirements of paragraph 5 of the Fifth Schedule, every broadcasting licensee shall, in the prescribed manner—

(a) make and keep a record of every programme broadcast by it, which record shall at all times be made available for inspection by the Authority at its request;

(b) provide a copy of each of its programmes free of charge to the National Archives of Zimbabwe referred to in section 3 of the National Archives of Zimbabwe Act

 

42   Inspections   TOP

(1) The Authority may appoint persons employed by it to be inspectors for the purposes of this Act and shall furnish each person so appointed with a certificate signed on behalf of the Authority stating that he has been appointed as an inspector.

(2) An inspector or a police officer may require a person whom he has reasonable cause to suspect is a person required in terms of this Act to possess a licence to produce his licence.

(3) If a person referred to in subsection (2)—

(a) is unable to produce his licence on demand; or

(b) cannot be located at his usual or last-known place of abode or business;

the inspector or police officer concerned may serve on the person a notice in the prescribed form requiring that person to produce that notice and his licence to the police officer in charge of a police station within a period of seven days from the date of service of that notice.

(4) A police officer to whom a notice and a licence have been produced in terms of subsection (3) shall forthwith—

(a) issue to the person who produced the notice and licence a receipt in the prescribed form; and

(b) notify the inspector or police officer who served the notice that the notice and the licence has been produced.

(5) If a person who has been served with a notice in terms of subsection (2)—

(a) fails to comply with the requirement contained in that notice, he shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, not to be the holder of the licence referred to in the notice;

(b) is subsequently prosecuted for failing to comply with the requirement contained in that notice, he shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, not to have produced that notice and his licence in compliance with the notice.

(6) Subject to subsection (8), an inspector or a police officer may, at all reasonable times enter premises¾

(a) of a licensee; or

(b) which are owned or occupied by a person whom he has reasonable cause to suspect—

(i) is operating as a signal carrier or operating a signal transmitting station in contravention of this Act; or

(ii) is providing any service for which a broadcasting licence is required;

and shall have power to make such examination, inspection and inquiry and do such things as may appear to him necessary for ascertaining whether compliance has been made with this Act.

(7) Subject to subsection (8), an inspector may inspect at all reasonable times a radio transmitting station, broadcasting apparatus or premises worked or used by or in the possession or under the control of a licensee.

(8) The powers of entry and inspection conferred by this section shall not be exercised except with the consent of the person in charge of the premises concerned, unless there are reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to exercise them for the prevention, investigation or detection of an offence in terms of this Act or for the obtaining of evidence relating to such an offence.

(9) An inspector or police officer may, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by this section, seize—

(a) a radio transmitting station which he has reasonable cause to suspect is being operated by or is in the possession or under the control of a person in contravention of this Act; or

(b) any broadcasting material, book, record or document, which he has reasonable cause to suspect, will afford evidence of the commission of an offence against this Act;

and may retain it for so long as may be necessary for the purpose of any examination, investigation, trial or inquiry.

(10) An inspector may, in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by this section, order a person referred to in subsection (7) to cease using, pending inquiry by the Authority, a radio transmitting station or broadcasting apparatus which, in his opinion, is being operated otherwise than in accordance with this Act or the International Telecommunications Constitution or, as the case may be, the terms and conditions of his licence.

(11) An inspector shall, on demand by any person affected by the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by this section, exhibit the certificate issued to him in terms of subsection (1).

(12) Any person who—

(a) fails to comply with the requirement contained in a notice served on him in terms of subsection (3), or with a requirement made by an inspector in terms of subsection (10); or

(b) wilfully delays or obstructs a police officer or inspector in the exercise of the powers conferred upon him by this Act;

shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level ten4 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

43   Appeals5   TOP

(1) Subject to this section, any person who is aggrieved by—

(a) a decision of the Minister not to issue a licence; or

(b) any term or condition of a licence issued to him, or a refusal by the Minister to specify a term or condition in a licence; or

(c) a refusal by the Minister to renew a licence; or

(d) any amendment of a licence or a refusal by the Minister to amend a licence; or

(e) the suspension or cancellation of a licence;

may, within 28 days after being notified of the decision or action of the Minister, appeal to the Administrative Court.

(2) An appeal in terms of subsection (1) shall be made in the form and manner and within the period prescribed in the rules of court.

(3) For the purpose of determining an appeal in terms of subsection (1) the President of the Administrative Court shall be assisted by two assessors.

(4) On an appeal in terms of subsection (1), the Administrative Court may, subject to subsection (5), confirm, vary or set aside the decision or action appealed against and may make such order, whether as to costs or otherwise, as the court thinks just.

(5) Any person whose appeal on a ground specified in paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (1) is upheld shall not be entitled to receive a licence but shall be entitled to have his matter remitted to the Authority for re-determination in terms of this Act.

 

44   Approval of tariffs by Authority   TOP

(1) At the time of applying for the issue or renewal of his licence, a licensee shall submit for the approval of the Authority written particulars of his proposed tariff, if any, at the commencement of the licensing period.

(2) If a licensee proposes to amend or replace the tariff that was approved at the time when his licence was issued or renewed, he shall give notice to the Authority within such period and in such form and manner as the Authority may require or as may be prescribed.

(3) The Authority shall, within 14 days of the receipt of the proposal, respond in writing confirming whether or not a proposal submitted in terms of subsection (2) is approved, and where the Authority has not so responded within such period, the proposal shall be deemed to have been approved by the Authority.

(4) No amended or substituted tariff shall come into operation before the expiry of seven days following its approval by the Authority or the expiry of 21 days following the submission of a proposal in terms of subsection (2) to which no response has been received.

(5) A licensee to whom this section applies shall publish his tariff by—

(a) making it available for inspection at his principal places of business during normal business hours; and

(b) promptly sending the relevant parts of it at the request of any consumer of his services.

 

45   Exemption from liability for Authority   TOP

No liability shall attach to the Authority or to any employee of the Authority or the Board or to a member of the Board or any committee of the Board for any loss or damage sustained by any person as a result of the bona fide exercise or performance of any function which by or in terms of this Act is conferred or imposed upon the Authority or the Board.

 

46   Regulatory powers of the Minister   TOP

(1) The Minister may, by regulation, order or notice, prescribe matters that, by this Act, are required or permitted to be prescribed or that in the opinion of the Minister are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

(2) Without derogating from the generality of subsection (1), regulations, orders or notices made in terms of subsection (1) may provide for—

(a) the form, manner and period in which applications for licenses shall be made;

(b) the form, manner and period in which complaints against licensees shall be dealt with;

(c) the amount of the annual levy payable in terms of section 32;

(d) the manner in which monies held in the Broadcasting Fund established by section 29 may be invested;

(e) any further conditions to which any class of licence shall be subject;

(f) further categories of broadcasting licences;

(g) the fees to be paid for licences and the manner of their payment;

(h) the prohibition, restriction or control, of the importation, purchase and sale of any apparatus capable of causing harmful interference;

(h1) the registration with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation of dealers and the information to supplied to the Corporation in connection with applications for registration;6

(h2) the keeping of books, records and documents, the furnishing of returns and the supply of information to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation relating to dealings in receivers;7

(h3) the collection and transmission to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation of the licence fees referred to in subsection (2) of section thirty-eight B;8

(h4) prohibiting the delivery of a receiver by a dealer referred to in paragraph (h1) in pursuance of the sale, exchange, hire or repair of the receiver to a person who is not authorised by a licence referred to in subsection (2) of section thirty-eight B to possess the receiver;9

(h5) the notification to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation by listeners of changes in their place of abode or business;10

(h6) the form and manner in which applications for licences in terms of section thirty-eight B are to be made and the information to be supplied in connection therewith;11

(h7) the circumstances in which and the terms and conditions subject to which licences in terms of section thirty-eight B shall be issued;12

(h8) the form of licences in terms of section thirty-eight B, the terms and conditions to be contained in the licences and the periods for which the licences shall remain in force;13

(h9) the issue of licences in terms of section thirty-eight B without charge authorising the possession of receivers by such persons or classes of persons or in such institutions or classes of institutions as the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, after consultation with the Authority and the Minister, may specify;14

(h10) the circumstances in which, and the conditions, including the payment of a fee, subject to which, copies of licences may be obtained;15

(h11) any other matter in connection with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation or the digital convergence signal carrier company that, in the opinion of the Minister, is required to be provided for in the public interest;16

(i) such matters as the Minister may consider appropriate or necessary to give force and effect within Zimbabwe to the provisions of the International Telecommunication Constitution.

(3) In making regulations, orders or notices the Minister may classify dealers and listeners and otherwise make different provision for different classes of persons.

(i)17such matters as the Minister may consider appropriate or necessary to give force and effect within Zimbabwe to the provisions of the International Telecommunication Constitution.

 

47   Savings and transitional provisions   TOP

(1) Any regulations, by-laws or notices which, immediately before the date of commencement of this Act, were in force under the Broadcasting Act [Chapter 12:01], shall continue in force as if made in terms of this Act.

(2) Any application or purported application made before the date of commencement of this Act for the operation of any broadcasting system or service, whether in terms of the Broadcasting Act [Chapter 12:01], the Radiocommunications Services Act [Chapter 12:04] or the Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05], shall not be treated as an application for the purposes of section 10.

(3) Any person who, immediately before the date of commencement of this Act was lawfully providing a datacasting service, a roadcasting service, a webcasting service or a subscription satellite broadcasting service shall be deemed to be licensed for the purpose of providing the same service or system for a period of until the 28th February, 200218, and any application made after that date in terms of this Act for a licence to provide that service shall be treated as an application for a new licence in terms of section ten and not for the renewal of a licence.

(4) This Act shall be deemed to have come into operation on the date of commencement of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Broadcasting) Regulations, 2000, published in Statutory Instrument 255A of 2000 (hereinafter called "the Regulations")19, and anything done in terms of those regulations shall be valid as if it had been done in terms of this Act.

 

48   Amendment of Cap. 12:01 and Cap 12:05   TOP

(1) The Broadcasting Act [Chapter 12:01] is amended—

(a) in the long title, by the deletion of "to confer upon the Corporation the sole right to broadcast in Zimbabwe; to provide for the licensing of operators of diffusion services and of listeners;" and the substitution of "to provide for the licensing of listeners;";

(b) by the repeal of section 1 and the substitution of—

"1 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Act [Chapter 12:01].";

(c) in section 27 by the insertion after "Corporation" of "a person licensed in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:01],".

(2) The Postal and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05] is amended in section 33 by the insertion in subsection (2) after "no person" of "other than the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation or a person licensed in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act, 2001,".


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 Level 5 substituted for $5 000 by s. 4 of Act 22/2001, and level 10 substituted for level 5 by s. 17 of Act 6/2003..
5 Section amended by s. 18 of Act 6/2003 (substitution of "Authority" for "Minister").
6 Paragraph inserted by s. 10(e) of Act 26/2001, and substituted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003..
7 Paragraph inserted by s. 10(e) of Act 26/2001 and amended by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
8 Paragraph inserted by s. 10(e) of Act 26/2001 and amended by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
9 Paragraph inserted by s. 10(e) of Act 26/2001
10 Paragraph inserted by s. 10(e) of Act 26/2001 and amended by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
11 Paragraph inserted by s. 10(e) of Act 26/2001, and substituted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
12 Paragraph inserted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
13 Paragraph inserted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
14 Paragraph inserted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
15 Paragraph inserted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
16 Paragraph inserted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
17 Subsection inserted by s. 19 of Act 6/2003.
18 Subsection amended by s. 10(f) of Act 26/2001 (deletion of "(for a period of) three months from the date of commencement of this Act" (i.e., until the 4th July, 2001, being three months from the 4th April, 2001)and substitution of "until the 28th February, 2002"). A previous extension of the period was effected by section 2 of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Act and Broadcasting Services Act) Regulations, 2001, published in Statutory Instrument 220E of 2001 (deletion of "of three months" and substitution of "not exceeding nine months", i.e., until not later than the 4th January, 2002).
19 4th October, 2000 (date of publication of the regulations).

 

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