FPB reports 'successful year'

2010-10-14 11:42
Parliament - The Film and Publication Board counts the seizure of 165 000 unclassified DVDs and magazines, increased awareness on the dangers of child pornography and exposure of children to unsuitable content as among its achievements over the past year.

The board presented its 2009’10 annual report to the National Assembly's home affairs committee on Wednesday.

FPB CEO Yoliswa Makhasi said in addition to an unqualified audit report by the Auditor General, highlights of the past financial year included an impressive increase in the number of unclassified materials seized, films and publications classified, and the number of people informed of the dangers of child pornography and exposure of pornography to children.

Increased efforts

"South Africans can rest assured they have a professional, credible and efficient classification authority, whose primary focus is the promotion of self-regulation among consumers and, most importantly, the protection of children from inappropriate and harmful content," she said.

During the period under review, the FPB classified 6657 films and games and 24 publications, in comparison to 6341 movies and games in the 2008’09 financial year.

The growth in the number of movies classified reflected the increased efforts by the FPB to ensure that distributors were empowered and provided with the necessary support and information to ensure that they complied with the Films and Publications Act.

Raising awareness

"Our compliance monitors visited over 7000 stores and distributors nationwide, raided 241 distributors and confiscated over 165 000 pieces of unclassified film and publication content, either being distributed or in people's possession over the past financial year," Makhasi said.

While classification and compliance monitoring remained central to the mandate of the FPB, it was equally important for the FPB to build community awareness on the need to protect children against harmful content and to ensure that consumers understood and abided by the age restrictions the FPB attached to films, games and certain publications.

The FPB's child protection unit made great strides in raising awareness of these matters, with close to 60 000 members of the public reached through community awareness programmes and 51 school principals, 180 life-orientation practitioners, 692 pupils and 110 religious leaders engaged in community activities to promote awareness.

Credible service

"Also of great importance for the FPB is that while achieving our targets in implementing our mandate, we have also managed to restore the integrity of our financial management systems and processes by achieving a clean audit opinion from the Auditor General.

"This has set us back on track to delivering an efficient and credible service to the industry and consumers, and to ensuring we restore the confidence of South Africans in the FPB," Makhasi said.


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