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WINDHOEK, The Southern African Broadcasting Association's Africa and Digitalisation Conference currently underway in Windhoek, Namibia, has heard that there is a need to review broadcasting policies.

The conference believes that policies regulating broadcasting need to be aligned with the changing times to ensure that public broadcasters are financially viable.

The gathering of public broadcasters from the South African Developmen Community (SADC) sub-region and other stakeholders in the broadcasting industry is looking at ways of keeping up with the changing times. The common denominator among the public broadcasters is the funding model and their financial sustainability.

The emerging view is that public broadcasters need to generate their own income streams. And for this to happen, some

participants say the public broadcasters must be run along business lines.

The Secretary-General for the Southern African Broadcasting Association, Ellen Nanuses, says SADC countries must change their stance when it comes to broadcasting in order to assert their independence.

Another contentious issue under discussion is local content. However, the conference has heard about the non-availability of an African market to sell and buy that content.

The Chairperson of South Africa's National Film and Video Foundation, Phil Molefe, says SADC countries only produce material for consumption and not for sale.

The public broadcasters also say they want to compete with private broadcasters. The Executive Secretary of the Communications Regulators' Association of Southern Africa, Anthony Chigaazira, says the independence of public broadcasters is important.


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