Experts hired to ensure children are protected from harmful content
Pretoria - The Film and Publication Board has inducted 37 new classifiers who will help ensure children in South African are protected from inappropriate content.
The board has acknowledged that sometimes children are left alone to watch a movie on the family TV with no adults around to monitor them.
Children can be disturbed by what they view and may even suffer from trauma.
Content classification and regulation are at the heart of content regulation at the board, with classifiers providing the service of advising consumers with a “preview” of the type of content contained in films, games or certain publications.
Film and Publication Board chief operations officer Abongile Mashele said: “Our classifiers can assign ratings and consumer advisories but, at the end of the day, it is incumbent on the distributor to ensure that the classification decision is visible to the public.
“It is also incumbent on the consumer to adhere to the advisory given in the classification rating. Keeping vulnerable citizens, and especially our children, safe is a joint responsibility in society,” Mashele said.
Lynette Kamineth, who manages communications and public education at the board, said the 37 new members were selected from applications made by members of the public from a wide range of demographic and skills categories. They range from psychologists and lawyers to language experts, educators, social workers, film-makers and content creators. The selection was geared at creating a pool of classifiers who reflect a range of demographics in our multicultural society, she said.
The classifiers will undergo rigorous training on laws that apply to content regulation, especially the rights espoused by the Constitution of the country, the precepts within the Films and Publications Amendment Act and the regulations that enforce them.
It will be their primary duty to ensure that ratings assigned to films, games and publications protect the sanctity of South Africa’s diverse cultures and balance freedom of expression with the right to human dignity.