Kaya News Reporter
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is calling for a compulsory annual household levy to replace its outdated TV licence system.
In public hearings on Monday the public broadcaster pushed for dominant subscription-based services such as DStv to collect the household levy from its subscribers on the SABC’s behalf.
According to News24, the levy would be imposed on all households, and is based on the assumption that every household is accessing SABC services.
Instead of billing South Africans who make actual use of its services, the state-owned entity motions that this is the only way to ensure the financial sustainability of the corporation.
“Unfortunately, the SABC Bill retains the outdated TV licence system and does not take into account the SABC’s view that it should be replaced by a technology-neutral, public broadcasting household levy that would exempt the indigent and should be part-collected by the dominant pay TV operator,” it said.
“The SABC reiterates its submission on that – as a pro-competitive measure and regulatory obligation – the dominant subscription broadcaster should be required to collect the public broadcasting household levy from its subscribers.”
South Africans refuse to pay TV licence fees
In a report, the SABC said that South Africans are not complying and refuse to pay their TV licence fees.
Cash revenue collected during Q4 20/21 showed a R92.9 million shortfall against the projected budget of R293.7 million.
Results between 1 January and 31 March in comparison showed a decrease of R77.6 million.
The financial data shows that 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;
- New licences were below budget by R13.7 million;
- Debt collection was R13.4 million below the budget
Last year South Africans were outraged when the SABC suggested making licences mandatory for smartphones, tablets and other devices that were streaming enabled.