Political Party Election Broadcasts

The Electronic Communications Act and the 2014 Regulations governing Elections in South Africa direct the Authority to monitor the extent to which Licensees (broadcast media) cover the Elections in a manner consistent with the law.

2021 National and Provincial Elections Coverage Report​.

2021 Party Elections Broadcasts

The Authority published in the government gazette the Regulations on Party Election Broadcasts, Political Advertisements and the Equitable treatment of Political Parties by Broadcasting Service Licensees on 25 February 2019. The Authority further made slight amendments to the Regulations on 02 April 2019 to allow equitable airtime to be allocated to political parties.

These Regulations came into being subsequent to the Authority’s extensive consultation and workshops held with Political Parties and broadcasting service licensees across the country. All contributions were considered in developing the final regulations that will govern fair and equitable coverage of the May 8, 2019 elections by licensed broadcasters.

Regulation 5 of the Party Elections Broadcasts and Political Advertisements Regulations provides for the allocation of PEB slots to registered political parties contesting the elections on the basis of the respective principles set out in Annexure A of the said Regulations. 

Frequently Asked Questions from Political Parties during the Election Broadcast Period

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1. How long should the PEBs be?

The Regulations state that, a PEB must be a maximum of 50 seconds in length.

2. Who is responsible for recording PEBs for Political Parties?

It is the responsibility of a political party to pre-record PEB material and submit same to a broadcaster.

3. What is the process of submitting a PEB to a broadcaster and can a political party make a submission to any radio station they deem fit/necessary?

A political party that seeks to broadcast a PEB must submit same to the broadcaster at least five (5) working days before broadcast of such a PEB, and only the published radio stations (in the schedule) are mandated to broadcast PEBs.

4. Can a broadcaster edit or alter a PEB when requested to do so by a political party?

A broadcaster, to whom a PEB has been submitted by a political party for broadcast, must not in any way edit or alter the content of the PEB.

A broadcaster can reject a PEB and request the political party to alter or edit the material.

5. Can a political party submit content which has been submitted as a PA for a PEB broadcast?

No. Content broadcast as a PEB cannot be broadcast or transmitted as a PA

6. What happens when a political party has not used its PEB slot?

PEB air-time allocated to a political party but not used by a party shall be forfeited by the party concerned. A broadcaster must use that slot for its normal business.

7. Can a political party request a broadcaster to trade its time slot or change its allocated PEB slot to another time slot

No. A broadcaster or political party must not permit or engage in any interference with, or trade-offs in the sequence or scheduling of PEB(s). Political parties are not permitted to swap PEB slots.

8. Who is responsible for identifying the difference between a PA and a PEB.

Broadcasters are responsible for putting a disclaimer at the beginning and the end of a PEB to ensure that a PEB is easily identifiable by the listeners or viewers. In addition, PEB must be a direct address from a political party concerned.

Relevant Acts & Regulations