Two MSG ­Afrika subsidiaries shortlisted for broadcast licences

2013-01-06 10:01

Businessman Given Mkhari’s MSG ­Afrika is up for two more commercial radio station licences after being shortlisted by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa).

MSG ­Afrika subsidiaries Histoprox and Histotrim have been shortlisted for licences in the Eastern Cape and Free State, respectively.

Histoprox is the sole candidate to land the Eastern Cape licence.

Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka warned it was not a done deal as things may change during public hearings – scheduled for later this year – and Histoprox may be asked to provide more information to meet requirements.

Histotrim is competing against former Black Management Forum Free State chairperson Quentin Eister’s Atretone in the province.

Eister was the publisher of Bloemfontein-based lifestyle and travel magazine Heartland, which was discontinued in 2007.

MSG ­Afrika already owns Polokwane-based Capricorn FM and is due to launch Power 98.9 FM to take on Kaya FM and Radio 702 in Gauteng.

Mkhari co-owns MSG ­Afrika with Simphiwe Mdlalose and ­34-year-old Andile Khumalo.

Power 98.9 FM landed the Gauteng licence last year.

It beat TV journalist Pat Pillai’s Life College and Market Demand Trading 649, owned by SABC board member and Media Development and Diversity Agency boss Lumko Mtimde.

Capital Radio 604 is also due to return after a nearly two-decade absence. Based in Durban, it shut down in 1996 after government denied it a licence.

Capital Radio listener Mark Williams has applied for a Durban commercial station licence, but faces tough competition from film producer David Selvan’s K2012010707, which also includes former Coca-Cola SA director and Kaya FM founding managing director Pat Dambe.

Icasa’s Maleka said decisions on which companies would be awarded the licences would only be taken after public hearings.

During the hearings, objections can be made and Icasa may request further information from shortlisted companies.

National Planning Commission member Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati’s Siyaya TV, Kagiso TV and Mobile TV, owned by publisher and journalist Mothobi Mutloatse and black-business support body Nafcoc, are among five companies vying for the country’s sixth pay TV licence.

Classic FM founder Hylton Appelbaum is a director of Mindset Media Enterprises, also in the running for the pay TV licence.

Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela’s Kgosi Nyalala Pilane is Siyaya TV’s deputy chairperson.

The North West community owns a majority stake in the company.

Besides Mahlati, other Siyaya TV shareholders include Transnet Freight Rail chief executive Siyabonga Gama.

TV Bakgatla was granted a digital terrestrial television test licence last year.

The fifth company is Close-TV, a Cape Town-based channel promising gay- and lesbian-friendly content.

Four additional pay TV licences have been awarded since 1995, when DStv launched.

TopTV owners, On Digital Media, Super 5 Media (formerly Telkom Media), sister company e.Sat and Walking on Water Television are the other four licensees.

Mutloatse said Mobile TV had new technology, but details would only be revealed during the public hearings.

“It will be interactive, touch screen, and have downloads and internet,” he said. Mutloatse said he was encouraged and pleased by Mobile TV’s shortlisting.

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