By Kaya 959 Reporter
A proposal by civil society group Outa (Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) has left many South African with mixed reactions.
The group is proposing that the government should consider collecting TV Licenses in a similar way they collect taxes.
“OUTA is of the opinion that television licence fees amount to a tax or revenue in terms of section 77 of the Constitution. The mere fact that a person has to pay a fee for being in possession of a television set whether it is used or not amounts to a tax or levy. One might still argue that where the set is used there is a benefit which accrues to the possessor but to pay for mere possession is akin to paying duty tax,” says OUTA’s submission.
OUTA believes that the television licence is effectively a tax and should be treated as such, which would strengthen this revenue stream and that the licence fee be included as a tax through a money bill that only the finance minister introduce.
According to Business Insider the SABC failed to meet almost all of its licence targets across the board:
- Renewals’ revenue stream for the quarter was below budget by R65.8 million (YTD: R14 million);
- New licences were below budget by R13.7 million (YTD: R1.3 million);
- Debt collection was R13.4 million below the budget (YTD: above budget by R4.2 million).
In an August presentation, the national broadcaster said that the TV Licence cash revenue collected during Q4 20/21 was R200.7 million against a budget of R293.7 million – resulting in a R92.9 million (32%) shortfall against budget.
OUTA believes that while SABC was badly affected by state capture, with both financial fallout and attempts to control the content, the current board has overseen considerable efforts to turn the broadcaster around.