The South African National Consumer Union (Sancu) is opposed to TV Licences for smartphones, PCs, and tablets, and argues that TV Licences should be scrapped altogether.
SABC CEO James Aguma recently told Parliament that the Broadcasting Act should be changed so TV Licence fees may be collected on more “viewing devices”.
Aguma said the Act requires people to pay a TV Licence for a device which can receive a TV signal, but argued that more people are watching TV on devices such as computers, tablets, and cellphones.
This means TV Licences may be necessary in future when buying computers, cellphones, and tablets, if the Act is changed.
The proposal did not sit well with Sancu chairperson Ina Wilken, who said the SABC’s proposal is “totally outrageous”.
“Consumers are becoming extremely despondent due to government entities, such as the SABC, expecting consumers to foot the bill due to their loss of R509m during the past year,” she told Fin24.
Wilken said poorer communities in South Africa, where very few people have TV Licences, will be the worst affected by the proposed changes.
“Sancu thinks the time is nigh for a total scrapping of TV Licences as being unsustainable in the light of technology advances.”
Wilken told Moneyweb that when TV Licences were introduced many years ago, there were no commercials.
This changed over the years, and Wilken said the SABC now runs “huge commercials” and collects a lot of revenue from these commercials.