TV

The SABC are in the process of implementing a ‘media levy’ for South African households and businesses, which will take the place of a TV licence.
Image via Pixabay

South Africans shun TV licences – SABC planning ‘media levy’ instead

Up to 82% of registered TV licence owners are refusing to pay the annual fee, forcing them to look into implementing a ‘media levy’…

TV

The SABC are in the process of implementing a ‘media levy’ for South African households and businesses, which will take the place of a TV licence.
Image via Pixabay

Up to 82% of registered TV licence owners have refused to pay up, forcing the SABC to take desperate measures.

This includes a mandatory “media levy” for all South Africans – irrespective of whether you watch SABC or own a TV.

TV LICENSES REMAIN UNPAID, DESPITE REMINDERS

Despite licences being mandatory for TV owners in SA, the SABC is having difficulty in forcing viewers to pay up.

According to its annual report, more than two-thirds of owners have ignored requests to pay the annual licence fee. And the number is drastically increasing each year.

It said in a 2021 report: “Overall, 2,2m (2020: 2,5m) licence holders managed to settle their television licence fees in full or in part against a known database of 10,3m (2020: 9,5m) television licence holders.

“The licence fee collection rates indicate an evasion rate of 82% (2020: 81%.).”

In May, the SABC revealed in May that they had lost R600 million over two years in a decline in viewers.

SABC COO Ian Plaaitjies said of the dismal TV channel viewership during a hearing with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA): “The decline in the audience is multi-causational and is a global trend. There is not much that can be done about that”.

ALSO READ: ‘She’s the worst TV host’: ‘Our Perfect Wedding’ fans troll ‘The Funny Chef’

WHAT IS THE PUBLIC MEDIA LEVY?

The SABC states that the media levy will replace the TV licence, which they claim has become “outdated”.

The “TV tax” will be issued to all households and businesses who have access to SABC content, irrespective of device. This means that South Africans liable for the levy would not necessarily own a TV but a platform – like a smartphone – which can access SABC content.

According to BusinessTech, the media levy proposal also states that part of the revenue is expected to be collected by the “dominant subscription broadcaster” – ie DStv and Multichoice – “on the public broadcaster’s behalf”.

According to the SABC, a decline in revenue is due to TV viewers migrating to online platforms. This something the broadcaster hopes to tap into in the near future.

Plaaitjies added: “SABC is at the final stage of accessing the sponsors of the digital platforms. [It] will have its own OTT (Over The Top) platform in the market by the next quarter of the current financial year”.