Worldspace wants SA licence

Chris Forrester

Worldspace, or perhaps its successor 1Worldspace, given it is not yet wholly out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, is reportedly looking to firm up on its South African transmission licences. But first it has to comply with regulator ICASA’s requirements that any broadcaster must have 30% local investment. The second challenge is to come up with a Rand 50,000 fee (about $5000).

Hamza Farooqui, MD of WorldSpace Southern Africa, said the 30% local investment was achievable and the company was in the process of finding a black partner. Worldspace already holds a temporary licence to transmit.

WorldSpace pulled out of the formal subscription broadcasting licensing process in 2007 because it did not meet the (then) foreign ownership cap of 20% for local broadcasting entities as stated in the Electronic Communications Act.

However, Worldspace has to act quickly. The closing date for applications is May 21.