Programme Policy


CTV is committed to broadcasting content that is directly answerable to the needs of community, that strengthens civil society, that showcases local talent, that promotes freedom of expression and access to information and that empowers people to tell their own stories.

1. Principles and values

1.1 Equity and social justice

Recognising that the majority of South Africans were deprived of media ownership, control and production, CTV is committed to:

i. Giving special priority to working class communities;

ii. Ensuring no group or section is deliberately excluded;

iii. Promoting alternatives to commercially-driven cultural values.

1.2 Diversity and representivity

The Content Committee will, through their selection of content, ensure that:

i. Programming reflects the widest diversity of people and interests in Cape Town, with a special focus on poor working class communities;

ii. One particular interest group (be they education institutions, government, NPOs or independent producers) do not have more than one programme partnership at any given time;

iii. Programming is produced by a wide diversity of people across all ages, sexual orientation, disabilities, class, race and gender, with no one group dominating simply because they have the resources to do so.

1.3 Access and affordability

The CTV programming policy is informed by the principles of community access and participation, whereby community TV serves as an access point for diverse members of the community as a means to share political, cultural, artistic, spiritual, and individual expression. In order to achieve this CTV will ensure that:

i. Citizens have direct access to training and production facilities and are empowered to tell their own stories. The developmental objective is to build ongoing and sustainable capacity within communities to utilize the audio visual media for social objectives;

ii. CTV will serve mainly as an access point for citizens and organisations of civil society. In doing so it will also ensure opportunities for emerging and established film makers to develop and air productions that are in line with the principles and values of CTV;

iii. CTV shall aspire to deliver the highest quality programming without jeopardizing the principles of access, affordability, learning, innovation and experimentation. While every effort will be made to ensure access to “broadcast quality” formats, participants should be allowed to produce content in any formats available to them.

2. Exclusions

2.1 CTV will strive to promote freedom of expression, as guaranteed in South Africa’s constitution, while abiding within the frameworks of other applicable legislation such as the Broadcasters’ Code of Conduct. 2.2 CTV will not broadcast programming whose overall message is to engender hate or prejudice towards any person or group; inter alia that which promotes racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia; nor which is culturally demeaning. 2.3 Age restrictions will be set on programmes that have been rated according to the stipulations of the Films and Publications Act. Content deemed unsuitable for younger audiences will only be shown after the stipulated time. 2.4 CTV will not broadcast any programming that contradicts the provisions of South African legislation, including but not limited to the country’s Constitution, the Broadcasting Act, Broadcaster’s Code of Conduct and the Electronic Communications Act. The channel will enter into agreements with content providers to warrant that their contributions conform to this prescription. 2.5 The channel will not broadcast programming that Is propagandistic in nature – i.e. which promotes a point of view in a dishonest or misleading way. 2.6 Where possible, content should seek to foster a critical approach to media and information, including an awareness of how traditional media can negatively affect people’s perceptions or behaviour – for example through the reinforcement of amoral standards or negative social behaviour through on-screen characters and role models.

3. Advertising

3.1. Introduction

3.1.1 Community television in South Africa is authorised to gain funding from a combination of advertising, grants, donations and sponsorships. 3.1.2 CTV accepts advertising from private companies, non-profit organisations and government agencies. In terms of the legislation governing community television in South Africa, advertising is limited to an average of 10 minutes per hour measured annually, with a maximum of 12 minutes allowed in any hour. 3.1.3 Restrictions apply to certain categories of advertising, namely:

i. Advertising targeted at children;

ii. Advertising for gambling;

iii. Any advertising that is sexist, racist, xenophobic, sectarian or culturally demeaning;

iv. Certain categories of products will not be advertised during prime time, e.g. alcoholic beverages.

3.2 Advertising content

3.2.1 The nature of advertising in our society is that it promotes the consumption of products that are sold on a commercial or profit-making basis. This sometimes results in the production of content within ads that may be considered to be harmful to society, for example by way of promoting certain stereotypical views of social groups such as women, foreigners or race groups. 3.2.2 In this regard CTV takes a progressive stance towards evaluating advertising content. Imagery or wording that fosters adverse stereotypical viewpoints or which fosters a demeaning attitude towards any social group will not be accepted. This includes advertising that objectifies women as the focus of sexual desire in order to promote a product. 3.2.3 One particularly contentious issue is that of advertising alcohol. While alcohol is in widespread use in our society as a means of relaxation and enjoyment, it is also widely abused, particularly in disadvantaged areas, with consequent social problems for groups such as youth, women and children. CTV therefore takes the position that:

i. The promotion of alcohol as a popular form of recreation should be avoided. CTV will thus not run advertising from alcohol producers.

ii. At the same time, CTV recognizes that alcohol companies can play a constructive role in the economy and in social development; thus the depiction of events that are sponsored by alcohol companies (e.g. sporting events) and where the branding of alcohol companies is visible, may be broadcast.

iii. The consumption of alcoholic beverages and the branding of alcohol producers may be depicted in programming, provided that such consumption or branding is not over-emphasized or gratuitous.

iv. Advertisements promoting the responsible use of alcohol or those which condemn or raise awareness around alcohol abuse, may be aired.

v. Alcohol companies may sponsor programmes that are aired on CTV and their logos and other branding may be visible in such programming.

3.2.4 CTV will not accept advertising that promotes gambling. However:

i. Gambling companies may sponsor programmes that are aired on CTV and their logos and other branding may be visible in such programming.

ii. Events at casino complexes other than gambling events can be covered within programme content, including the name, brand and logos of the complex.

iii. Events involving gambling such as horse races can be covered within programme content, but may not be advertised on the channel.

3.2.5 CTV will not accept advertising in programmes aimed at children under the age of seven years.

4. Language

4.1 According to the ICASA regulations governing community television, broadcasters must transmit programming ” in languages used in the relevant communities”. Since the main languages used by the population of Cape Town are English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa, CTV will broadcast programming in these languages. 4.2 CTV will broadcast programming that is mainly in English since this is the common language in the region and also because most available programming is in this language. However CTV will strive to provide programming in Afrikaans and isiXhosa and will allocate up to 30% of airtime in the stipulated performance period (5am – 11pm) for programmes in these languages.

5. Local content

5.1 ICASA has set the South African content quota for community television stations at 55%. CTV will thus endeavour to meet this obligation by way of sourcing content primarily from a) local sources and its own production efforts in the greater Cape Town metropolitan region; and b) nationally in South Africa. 5.2 CTV will focus its programming on the people, issues, events of Cape Town. The channel will not as a rule cover events in other parts of the country unless there is a story angle which is pertinent to the people of Cape Town. Content sourced from producers in other areas will be generic in nature, i.e. not based on events in those regions. 5.3 The channel will include international content in its programming provided that such programming conforms with the mission and values of the station.

6. Religious content

6.1 Definition

6.1.1 The area of religious content refers specifically to recognized religions. This excludes content dealing with concerns of a “spiritual” nature that does not fall under the banner of a particular religion. 6.1.2 Religious content is defined as that which promotes or promulgates a particular religious creed, dogma or worldview. This includes praise singing addressed to a particular deity or in a particular religious tradition. It does not include documentary or fictional material concerning the beliefs or practices of a particular religious community that has been produced in order to document such beliefs or practices rather than to market or promulgate them. 6.1.3 CTV’s religious programming will consist of the following:

i. Acquired programming – acquired free of charge by the Programming Department through a licensing agreement with the copyright holder, who would typically be a production house that has produced a programme for purposes other than broadcast on CTV.

ii. Paid programming – acquired through a contractual arrangement between a religious organisation and CTV’s Advertising Department, where the religious organisation pays CTV a placement fee.

iii. Development programming – content acquired by CTV’s Programming Department from local (Cape Town based) religious groups that do not have sufficient finance to pay a placement fee.

6.1.4 The overall quotient of airtime available for the broadcast of religious content shall be 10% per year, which equates to 16.8 hours per week. 6.1.5 Christian content is allocated 8 hours per week. Most Christian programmes will be flighted on Sundays as this is the Christian holy day. 6.1.6 Islamic content is allocated 2 hours per week; this will mainly be on Fridays, although it may also be shown at other times during the week. Islamic content may be increased during specific periods, principally during Ramadan. 6.1.7 Other religions are allocated 2 hours per week, although this may be revised on request from a particular religious grouping.

6.2 Criteria for airtime sales to religious organisations

In order to ascertain which religious organisations should be charged a fee for programme placement or airtime sales, the following criteria will be considered:

i. Is the religious group making money from the content?

ii. Does the religious group have its own broadcast platform?

iii. Is the religious group international or national in nature, or is it local? (Cape Town organisations will be given preference).

iv. Is the religious grouping explicitly marketing itself or its point of view in a manner analogous to commercial advertising or infomercials?

v. Does the content provide any information of value to the community apart from its dogma?

vi. Can the religious group be defined as developmental in nature? (see definition of developmental programming above)

vii. Does the content promote diversity within the spectrum of CTV’s religious programming?

viii. Does the content address past imbalances?

6.3 Criteria for acquired religious content

i. The content may not be used for fundraising or to further the aims of any particular religious organisation.

ii. Preference will be given to good quality local material. Local content is defined as that which is produced in South Africa and in particular Cape Town.

iii. All programmes are subject to the approval of CTV’s Programme Manager.

6.4 Criteria for developmental religious content

i. The religious organisation cannot afford to pay placement fees.

ii. The religious organisation is based in Cape Town.

iii. The religious organisation serves a disadvantaged community.

iv. Developmental religious programming will be subsidized by paid religious slots, resulting in no more than 2 broadcasts per church under the development category.

6.5 Holy Days

CTV will take cognizance of identified holy days of various religions and may broadcast religious programming pertaining specifically to these times on or close to the days specified.

6.6 Exclusions

i. CTV will not broadcast religious content that contains scenes likely to disturb viewers, outside of the context of a balanced and responsible documentary or debate. This includes but is not limited to, black magic, demon worship, exorcisms, sacrifices, ritual torture, or any other material that might outrage the sensibilities of the public.

ii. The content must not incite violence or hate speech, nor must it attack or denigrate any other religion or religious or social group.

iii. The content must not undermine the human rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution, including those pertaining to issues such as abortion or sexual orientation.

iv. The content must be factually correct, i.e. not misinformation on any topic.

v. Religious content may not promote any political party or political views.

7. News

7.1 News services will report news truthfully, accurately and fairly. 7.2 News shall be presented in the correct context and in a fair manner, without intentional or negligent departure from the facts, whether by:
i. Distortion, exaggeration or misrepresentation;
ii. Material omissions; or
iii. Summarisation.
7.3 Only that which may reasonably be true, having due regard to the source of the news, may be presented as fact, and such fact shall be broadcast fairly with due regard to context and importance. Where a report is not based on fact or is founded on opinion, supposition, rumours or allegations, it shall be presented in such a manner as to indicate clearly that such is the case. 7.4 Where there is reason to doubt the correctness of the report and it is practicable to verify the correctness thereof, it shall be verified. Where such verification is not practicable, that fact shall be mentioned in the report. 7.5 Where it subsequently appears that a broadcast report was incorrect in a material respect, it shall be rectified forthwith, without reservation or delay. The rectification shall be presented with such a degree of prominence and timing as in the circumstances may be adequate and fair so as to readily attract attention. 7.6 The identity of rape victims and other victims of sexual violence shall not be divulged in any broadcast without the prior consent of the victim concerned. 7.7 News programmes will advise viewers in advance of scenes or reporting of extraordinary violence, or graphic reporting on delicate subject matter such as sexual assault or court action related to sexual crimes, particularly during afternoon or early evening newscasts and updates when children would probably be in the audience.
7.8 News shall employ discretion in the use of explicit or graphic language related to stories of destruction, accidents or sexual violence which could disturb children and sensitive audiences.