The SABC has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons: massive losses, disrespect for the rule of law by not getting rid of former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and its controversial 90% local rule.
So dire is the situation that even the ANC and Cabinet are criticising the public broadcaster, saying it should obey the recent court ruling and not employ Motsoeneng to a senior position.
“The shenanigans that have been unfolding at the SABC only serve to distract the public broadcaster from discharging its core public service mandate,” said ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu.
Other political parties are also bemoaning the problems at the SABC, and on Monday the DA and Cope protested at the SABC’s Auckland Park headquarters against Motsoeneng.
Speculation is rife that the SABC board will be dissolved on Wednesday in an urgent parliamentary committee meeting – an attempt to turn around the mess at the broadcaster.
With all these problems, it is hardly surprising that many people have stopped paying their TV licenses in protest of their tax money being wasted.
The The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) is also considering getting involved in the TV License battle.
“We are assessing the legal framework of a formal challenge on the TV License matter,” OUTA chairman Wayne Duvenage told MyBroadband.
Duvenage previously told MyBroadband that the TV Licence issue has reached a point where it needs to be challenged, for the following reasons:
- Many TVs are not purchased to watch televised programmes managed or channelled through the national broadcaster.
- A growing use of TVs and monitors is for viewing content which is channelled through digital and Internet links (Netflix and ShowMax), not through television transmission.
- There is a question around how much of the licence revenues reach the SABC or targeted operations.
- The SABC policy changes are unconstitutional and in conflict with ICASA rulings.
Duvenage said they are not currently calling for civil disobedience, but it is on the cards if their other avenues fail.
“We are, however, encouraged to see the public taking up personalised initiatives to boycott TV Licenses, and notice the DA and other political entities are taking a formal stand against the SABC’s Board,” said Duvenage.