On 19 March 2019, the Films and Publications Amendment Bill B37D-2015 (the Bill) was passed by both Houses of the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa. The Bill has now been sent to the President for assent.
As set out in the long title of the Bill, it aims, among other things, to amend the Films and Publications Act to:
- Provide for the establishment, composition and appointment of members of the Enforcement Committee, as well as the powers and duties of the Enforcement Committee.
- Regulate the online distribution of films and games.
- Extend the compliance obligations of the Films and Publications Act and the compliance and monitoring functions of the Film and Publication Board to online distributors.
- Further regulate the classification of publications, films and games.
- Provide for the accreditation of independent commercial online distributors by the Film and Publication Board.
- Provide for the classification of publications, films and games by the independent industry classification bodies.
- Provide for foreign and international classification systems and approval thereof by the Film and Publication Board.
- Provide for the use of classification ratings issued by a foreign and international classification authority or body.
- Provide for the right of appeal against classifications issued by independent industry classification bodies.
- Provide for exemptions in respect of online distribution of films and games.
- Further provide for the obligations of internet access providers regarding curbing the use of their services in propagating prohibited content.
- Revise and strengthen penal provisions; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The Bill is accessible (via the Parliamentary Monitoring Group) here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].