Local community television channel Cape Town TV (CTV) has been granted a seven-year class license by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). This new license follows two successive “temporary’ one-year licenses that enabled the channel to begin its broadcast operations. CTV is a membership-based non-profit organisation.
“Getting this license represents a turning point for CTV,’ says station director Karen Thorne. “Now that we have achieved regulatory certainty, we know that we are going to be around for the next seven years. This means that we can plan ahead and build financial sustainability.
“The license gives CTV a legitimacy which will encourage the building of long term partnerships that will ensure the sustainability and growth of the channel. Donors and advertisers are now assured that their investments in the channel will have long-term benefits for the people of Cape Town.’
ICASA had initially refused to consider CTV’s class license application because of a misinterpretation of a moratorium that the regulator had imposed on the granting of new licenses to community television applicants. However this moratorium was not intended to apply to existing community TV licensees and the ICASA Council had to make a declaration to this effect in September this year.
Comments CTV board chairperson Martin Jansen, “We are very please that we have secured this license. It gives us and the Cape Town community more security with the channel so that we can continue to provide a platform and a voice for all Capetonians on issues that affect them.’
Adds Thorne: “Next year promises to be a significant growth period for the channel as it prioritises increased local content, particularly in the areas of Afrikaans and isiXhosa language programming and local news.’
CTV began broadcasting in September 2008, after being formally launched at its first AGM in November 2006. The organisation has grown rapidly over the years and has succeeded in doubling its income in each year of operation. The channel derives its financial underpinning from grants, donations, advertising and the sale of airtime.
CTV is a free-to-air channel that broadcasts programming on a 24-hour basis from a single transmitter on Tygerberg mountain. Its broadcast footprint covers most of Cape Town, including all those areas in line-of-sight of Tygerberg.
Cape Town’s community television broadcaster is committed to providing community access to the powerful medium of television as a tool to promote human rights, social justice and community development. It is founded on the belief that access to information and the ability to communicate are fundamental human rights in the information age.