Committee to take FPB Bill for public consultation

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pretoria - The Portfolio Committee on Communications has given the Films and Publications Amendment Bill the green light and has unanimously agreed to take the bill for public consultation across the country.

“The Portfolio Committee on Communications has unanimously agreed to take the Film and Publications Amendment Bill for public consultation… (However) the committee could not say how long that process will take,” said Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, who presented the bill to the committee on Tuesday.

Minister Muthambi said the bill seeks to align with international best practice on matters regarding the regulation of distribution of online content. It further seeks to strengthen efforts to combat the online distribution of illegal content as defined in the Films and Publications Act of 1996.

“The bill also seeks to establish a co-regulation regime for classification of digital content distributed online, as well as seeking to amplify responsibilities of internet service providers in matters regarding the protection of consumers and children against sexual, hate speech and racism contained in user-generated content,” she said.

The Minister reiterated that the Bill is not aimed at gagging the internet in the country.

The bill seeks to address the shortcomings in relation to the classification, compliance monitoring and usage of new media and social networking sites. It also establishes a penalty committee to address public complaints and administrative offences committed by distributors and industry, and it also provides for the classification of foreign classification systems for online content. -

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