Zimbabwe slashes media licensing fees

Zimbabwe’s government has reduced its registration requirements for media organisations and journalists operating in the country in a bid to reform its harsh media laws, a minister said Friday.

According to a gazette published Friday, foreign media organisations will pay $2 500, slashed from the previous $30 000 fee, for permission to operate in the country.

Fees were also greatly reduced for individual foreign journalist accreditation and for local media.

The gazette said the new prices were effective from January 1 but not yet in operation.

“The commission will start receiving applications for renewal of registration certificates by mass-media service providers and renewal of accreditation status by Tuesday [May 4],” the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Media Commission, Godfrey Majonga, said in a statement.

The commission was appointed in December as part of the power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

“All those mass-media services providers who have been publishing without operating licences should normalise their status by June 4,” Majonga added.

Act to be abolished
In March, Tsvangirai indicated that he will repeal and amend the country’s contentious media and security legislation by the end of this year.

According to the government work plan drafted by Tsvangirai, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act — which bans foreign journalists from working permanently in the country — will be abolished.

Tsvangirai said the act would be replaced by a Freedom of Information Bill that will be introduced to allow journalists greater access to official information.

The prime minister said a Media Practitioners’ Bill will be tabled in Parliament to regulate the conduct of journalists.

In 2002, Mugabe’s government passed an Act forcing media organisations and journalists to register with a government appointed body. This resulted in several newspapers being closed down and some correspondents of foreign newspapers being deported.

Under the new fees, journalists working for foreign media will pay $120 down from $3 000 while local journalists will pay $30.

Fees for media houses from the Southern African will be $1 000 down from $30 000. – AFP

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday