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Parliament Updated on Films and Publications Amendment Bill

May 26, 2017

Department of Communications

The department of communications has presented amendments made to the Films and Publications Amendment Bill to parliament.

The amendments flow from comments made by stakeholders during hearings and new amendments introduced by the department.

Some of the amendments presented include:

• Section 18G – Filming and distribution of films and photographs depicting sexual assault and violence against children – internet service providers to give details of disseminators;
• Section 18H – Title of section amended to be in line with section 16(2) of the constitution – Forms of hatred that are based on identifiable group characteristics and this may cause harm to individuals;
• Section 24A – Offences, prohibitions and penalties on distribution and exhibition of films, games and publications in accordance with the criminal justice process; and
• Section 24E(1) – Offences, prohibitions and penalties on distribution of private photographs and films – consent of the person depicted in the film or photograph cannot be used as a defence.

Meanwhile, in a separate briefing, the department provided detail on the final socio-economic impact assessment for the bill.

According to the department, the effective implementation of the bill is dependent on ensuring monitoring and evaluation, and will be based on a range of success factors such as the number of new registrations of online distributors; the levels of regulations fees; and the level of public awareness on the Films and Publications Mandate.

The following groups of people were highlighted as those that will benefit from the amendments made to the bill:

• Children;
• Adult consumers/parents;
• Online distributors of films and games;
• Law enforcement agencies (South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority);
• The Public;
• Non-governmental Organisations (e.g. Children Rights Organisations, etc.);
• Department of communications;
• Commercial online content distributors; and
• The Film and Publication Board.