Dead broke SABC to increase TV license fees, vows to make sure everyone will be forced to pay

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The SABC wants to raise its TV licence fee in an effort to improve its revenue, according to a statement from chairperson Bongumusa Makhathini.

In a public broadcasting colloquium, Makhathini said that the TV licence fee is a major source of income for the SABC and must be increased.

“TV licence fees still remain the second largest source of revenue for the SABC, but we need to rebase the fee and strengthen the collection of this revenue,” he said.

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A TV licence fee is priced at R265 per year, which is equal to around R0.72 per day, and has remained unchanged since 2013.

“In September 2018, I think we can all agree that there is very little, if anything, you can buy for 72c a day,” Makhathini said.

He argued that raised fees would aid in funding the public broadcasting mandate, adding that a low percentage of television owners actually pay their TV licence.

“There are currently only approximately 1.8 million paying television households and businesses out of a total of 9 million accounts on the SABC database,” Makhathini said.

“While 1.8 million paying accounts is a relatively small percentage, we believe that a credible, trusted, and properly-run public broadcaster can create a culture of increased TV licence payment.”

The SABC also wants retailers to crack down on TV licence checks at the point of sale and aims to enforce greater compliance on the payment of fees.

The public broadcaster also recommended stricter enforcement and penalties for nonpayment of licence fees.


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