SA opposition parties unhappy with pre-election broadcast allocation

icasa.jpgSouth Africa’s opposition parties have heavily criticized the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the country’s telecommunications regulator, saying it had erred in the manner in which it allocated broadcasting slots for parties contesting the forthcoming general election.

Says Democratic Alliance chief executive officer, Ryan Coetzee: “The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa has completely misdirected itself in its allocation of Party Election Broadcasts (PEBs), and is too stubborn and defensive to recognize its mistake,”

“The principle underlying the allocations is sound – they are made on the basis of the number of seats a party is contesting. However, ICASA has misunderstood the electoral system. It thinks that in order to contest all the seats in the National Assembly a party has to fill both a national list and regional lists. This is simply untrue. It is perfectly possible to contest all 400 seats in the National Assembly without being on what it calls the ‘National Allocation List’.”

The party said that ICASA had not allocated DA the correct number of Party Election Broadcasts, and that the matter should be taken under advisement of both ICASA and the country’s Independent Electoral Commission.

ICASA officials were not available for comment.