Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) has confirmed to the Democratic Alliance that it will be conducting an investigation into MultiChoice.

This follows a complaint lodged by the DA in November last year requesting that Icasa conduct an inquiry into payments made by MultiChoice to ANN7 and the SABC‚ allegedly in exchange for political influence over government policy on Digital Migration‚ in its favour.

DA shadow minister of communications Phumzile Van Damme said on Sunday that Icasa had indicated in a letter that the matter had been referred to its Compliance and Consumer Affairs division for investigation.

"The DA is pleased that Icasa has agreed that the payments require investigation.

"SA deserves to know whether the payments were indeed above board‚ as MultiChoice has maintained‚" Van Damme added.

She said the DA believed that while companies like MultiChoice should be allowed the space to do business and create much-needed employment‚ their conduct must at all times be within the bounds of the law‚ in line with business ethics and in an environment where competition was not stifled.

"There is no issue with companies lobbying for policy positions through debate‚ but a situation where policy is bought cannot be allowed. It is tantamount to policy capture.

"The DA looks forward to further engaging with Icasa on this matter for clarity to be provided once and for all."