The Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) Cape Town regional office in partnership with the South African Police Services, City of Cape Town Informal Traders Unit, City of Cape Town (Economic Development) and Cape Town Metro Police will on Thursday, 8 February destroy close to 65 000 DVDs and CDs estimated to be collectively worth at more than R12 million. The material to be destructed was seized at various raids conducted by the FPB Cape Town compliance monitoring team in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Agencies officers and it contains over 110 000 film titles.
The DVDs earmarked for destruction are from exhibits of concluded court cases from raids conducted in Cape Town CBD, Bellville, Kuilsriver, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha, Wynberg and Athlone. Majority of the confiscated material comes from Cape Town CBD, Bellville and Khayelitsha area and consists of international series and mainstream movies.
“The destruction process is conducted purely to prevent the confiscated DVD’s and CD’s in finding their way back to the market. Most of the confiscated material was unclassified and contained pornographic material as well as bestiality which were sold on the streets and taxi ranks and carries the risk of exposing children to harmful material,” says Sandile Nene, FPB’s acting chief executive officer.
He continues to say, “The impact of illegal distribution of DVDs and CDs is a scourge that negatively impacts on the industry as well as the economy of the country. Piracy peddlers steal intellectual property; they steal revenue due to destitute families by depriving them of royalties. People lose their jobs as more DVD shops close due to poor business.”
The Films and Publications Act 65 of 1996, as amended (Act) prohibits the distribution of unclassified films and games. The Act further requires the classification decisions to be clearly and conspicuously displayed, the failure of which could render one liable upon prosecution to a period of imprisonment of up to six months, a fine or both.
The FPB values partnerships with various stakeholders in the industry including the general public in order to ensure the protection of children against the distribution or viewing of potential harmful, disturbing or inappropriate material.
The FPB is constantly conducting outreach and awareness campaigns with an intention to educate the public on, among other things, the significance of age ratings, a process informed by the classification process. The FPB has also developed a training manual that is aimed at informing educators, who will in turn impart knowledge to the learners. By engaging in these efforts the ultimate aim of the FPB is to create a self regulating society that understands the impact of illegal distribution on the society and the country at large