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Broadcast watchdogs barks for bucks

Dispatch-South Africa

JOHANNESBURG The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) wants to raise caps on foreign investment in local broadcasters to drive growth.

The regulator has proposed a 25% limit for a single foreign investor in an unlisted firm, 35% for a single foreign investor in a listed company and 35% for group investors. The previous limit was a blanket 20%. Icasa also wants prohibitive cross-media ownership rules relaxed.

Icasa hopes this will “encourage investment, ensure fair competition and encourage ownership by black investors in the broadcasting industry,” says chairman Mandla Langa.

Interested parties can comment until Feb. 13. Icasa hopes to submit the proposals to Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri by the end of February.

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