SABC wants to charge you even more for your TV License

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The SABC wants to increase TV Licences in a bid to remedy its solvency issues and keep the corporation afloat.

(You know, because we just don’t pay enough for everything else in South Africa.)

The public broadcaster said on Wednesday that a proposal to increase the annual fees has been sent to minister of communications Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

TV Licence fees, charged to every South African citizen that owns a display that can receive a broadcast signal, amounts to R265 per annum.

It, along with advertising fees, contribute the lion’s share of the corporation’s revenue. But it feels that the fee is too low, especially considering its recent struggles to attract advertisers.

SABC should be ‘innovative’ and ‘trustworthy’

The DA’s Phumzile van Damme on Wednesday announced that it would oppose the idea to charge “additional — what would be in essence — taxation of already over-burdened South African taxpayers”.

“We call on the public broadcaster to find new revenue streams to stay afloat instead of imposing increases to TV Licences fees,” she continued.

She also called for the broadcasters to find “innovative measures to strengthen their collection of revenue” and “position itself as a trustworthy and properly managed entity to encourage current TV licence holders to make payments”.

The SABC has a long documented history with mismanagement, which has all but come to a head this year.

Threat of a ‘blackout’ deepens

In May, CEO Madoda Mxakwe revealed that the broadcaster is closing in on a “blackout” should it struggle to improve its financial situation.

In 2018, this was abated somewhat as it announced a deal with Multichoice’s DStv to keep its channels on the satellite network in a deal said to be worth R900-million per year.

The same year though, the SABC revealed that it had a TV Licence payment compliance level of just 28%, suggesting that about one in four South Africans pay their licence.

Perhaps the solution is to chase those who don’t comply rather than penalising those who do, rather than ballooning fees for all? Just a thought.

Feature image: The SABC logo, by Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker
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