NEWS & ANALYSIS

DA opposed to SABC’s bid to increase TV licence fees - PVD

MP calls on public broadcaster to find new revenue streams

DA opposed to SABC’s bid to increase TV licence fees

28 August 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is opposed to the South African Broadcast Corporation’s (SABC) proposal to increase TV license fees.

Briefing the Select Committee on Public Enteprises and Communications in the NCOP today, the SABC’s CFO, Yolande van Biljon stated that a proposal to increases TV licenses fees had been drafted and sent to the Minister of Communications, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The DA is opposed to any additional - what would be in essence - taxation of already over-burdened South African taxpayers, as well as those who are impoverished and struggling to put food on the table.

We call on the public broadcaster to find new revenue streams to stay afloat instead of imposing increases to TV licenses fees.

The SABC needs to find innovative measures to strengthen their collection of revenue as poor South Africans will, without doubt, be unlikely to afford increased licence fees.

The SABC must position itself as a trustworthy and properly managed entity to encourage current TV licence holders to make payments.

Furthermore, the broadcaster should explore purchasing content that will attract viewers – by doing so doing, they will see an increase in advertising revenue. Advertising makes out the bulk of the SABC’s revenue, and an increase in advertising will surely be a boost for the SABC.

We look forward to feedback regarding funding of the SABC – especially given the fact that the public broadcaster is still reeling from the financial consequences of well-chronicled years of mismanagement, looting and governance failures.

The public should not have to pay for the SABC’s sins through additional TV license fees. We trust that the current SABC management will prove its mettle, by steering the SABC to a profitable position
The DA will continue to hold the SABC accountable, in order to ensure that it delivers accessible broadcast to all South Africans.

Issued by Phumzile Van DammeDA Shadow Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, 28 August 2019