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SABC slams reports of TV licences for phones

Politics
Johannesburg – The SABC has hit back at reports that it wants the public to pay for watching TV on their mobile devices like cellphones and computers, saying it was a misconception and untrue.

The national broadcaster said it wanted to relook at how a TV set was defined in the Broadcasting Act.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “We need to be mindful that TV viewing has transformed drastically over the last few years.”

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SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “We need to be mindful that TV viewing has transformed drastically over the last few years.” Picture : Simone Kley

Last week, SABC acting chief executive James Aguma told Parliament the broadcaster wanted changes made to the Broadcasting Act to make it mandatory for people to pay a TV licence for more devices they viewed content on.

He said they were budgeting for lower revenue from licences this year, but if the act was changed, it would broaden its collection base for TV licences.

However, no further details were available as to how this would work.

Kganyago admitted the SABC’s revenue streams were under pressure, and licence fees were not effective partly because licence holders were reluctant to pay.

The SABC’s major sources of revenue included advertising and sponsorship, contributing about 85%; TV licences, accounting for 12%; and government subsidy, less than 3%.

Kganyago said the money was used, among other things, to purchase content for its television channels.

The DA has indicated it will oppose the imposition of TV licences for cellphones, computers and tablets.

The party said the main reason the SABC was in a crisis was because of corruption, financial mismanagement and a fall in advertising revenue.

The Star

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