Kaya 959 Reporter
The SABC has written to the National Treasury asking for permission to grant amnesty to millions of South Africans who owe licence fees
Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni was addreesing a parliamentary committee on Wednesday (17 November).
In the committee, she spoke about how the ministry supports an application by the SABC for a TV licence amnesty.
“We are trying to support the SABC on matters that will make sure the SABC is a sustainable and profitable organisation, and there are issues I am aware are of interest to yourselves, as it relates to the stability of the SABC — for instance, the matter of licence fees owed by members of the public,” said Ntshavheni
“We have supported the SABC in their request for an amnesty on TV licence issues. We are awaiting the concurrence of the National Treasury to take the matter to cabinet to make sure there is an amnesty on TV licences.
“We believe that if the SABC achieves the amnesty, they will be able to use the opportunity to improve their financial standing.”
In 2020, the SABC was forced to retrench staff as part of its turnaround strategy — a condition imposed by the Treasury for a bailout.
In 2017, the SABC wrote off almost R18bn in TV licence debt when it hired consultants to clean up its database.
The public broadcaster’s 2020/2021 annual report shows that 82% of TV licence holders across the country did not pay the annual licence fee.
In the new proposal, they said that they plans to fundamentally change South Africa’s TV licence to a more general levy in its presentation to parliament.