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Parties get their 15 minutes of fame on radio

All political parties contesting the April 14 election have been allocated a free political advertisement and party election broadcast (PEB) on the SABC’s radio stations.

Political parties contesting the national and selected provincial elections will have their PEBs broadcast on the four national and regional stations that broadcast in the relevant provinces, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) said on Thursday.

Parties only contesting selected provincial elections will have their PEBs broadcast on radio stations broadcasting in those provinces.

Icasa acting chairperson Mamodupi Moshala explained the PEB is a message that a political party will produce to sell its election campaign to voters.

The parties will be given 132 PEB slots from March 9 to April 10, each one for a two-minute recorded message.

Icasa is empowered by law ”to monitor party election broadcasts, political advertisements and the equitable treatment of political parties by broadcasting licences during an election period”, she said.

Mohlala said Icasa is exclusively responsible for allocating PEB slots to political parties on public sound broadcasting services and on any other commercial or community sound broadcasting licensee choosing to air PEBs.

”Icasa has the power to determine the sequence in which the PEBs are to be transmitted for the entire election period.”

The African National Congress has been allocated nine PEBs. Other big parties, including the Democratic Alliance, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, New National Party and Independent Democrats, each got seven.

The small parties, and those without seats in Parliament, each got two PEBs.

Icasa said the PEBs were allocated according to the number of candidates each party has for the National Assembly, number of seats currently held, national Assembly regional list allocation and provincial list allocation.

Political parties drew the slots in the presence of Icasa commissions and Independent Electoral Commission officials at the authority offices in Sandton.

Each SABC station will have four PEB slots every day from 6am to 6pm.

Pfanani Lishivha said parties should submit pre-recorded material in a format that suits the stations 96 hours before the broadcasting day.

”This will give the stations enough time to listen to the message and decide whether the parties are using the right language that is acceptable at [that] station,” Icasa PEB project manager Pfanani Lishivha said.

”However, no radio station is allowed to edit the tapes. If they reject them, they should send them back to the parties explaining why the material cannot be used,” he said. — Sapa

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