SABC explains TV licence fee plans for 2020

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) previously said it will increase the price of its TV licence fee, but it is unclear whether this will be implemented.

In October last year, SABC CEO Madoda Mxakwe said that the public broadcaster needed to focus on revenue generation, a strategy which would see it increase the television licence fee.

Mxakwe said a new revenue stream will include a 5% increase on the current TV licence fee of R265.

This would bring the new fee to R278 per year.

However, the SABC’s TV Licence website still states that the TV licence fee is R265 per year, with no increase mentioned.

Customers also have the option of paying R28 a month for their TV licence, which includes a small premium for convenience and amounts to a total of R336 per year.

The SABC’s website also states that forgetting to renew your TV licence incurs a penalty of 10% per month to a maximum of 100% per annum.

SABC explains licence fee strategy

Considering the price of a TV licence has remained static despite the CEO promising a price increase last year, the question remains – what happened to the TV licence price increase?

MyBroadband asked the public broadcaster why it had not implemented this change and what its plans were for TV licence fees going forward.

SABC acting spokesperson Mmoni Seapolelo told MyBroadband that its strategy had changed since this announcement, with no fee increase planned for the moment.

“The SABC can confirm that the tariff fee has not changed for the year 2020 and is still R265,” Seapolelo said.

“The SABC’s focus currently, is implementing strategies as per the organization’s turnaround plan, to improve TV Licence fees revenue collections.”

She said that while there were currently no fee increases on the cards, this may change going forward.

“The SABC has no plans to increase TV Licence fees this year, however, should the need arise, any potential tariff fee increases will be communicated publically,” Seapolelo said.

Non-compliance a big problem

Non-compliance remains a major problem for the SABC, with many South Africans not paying their TV licence fees.

The public broadcaster explained in a recent presentation to parliament that compliance is expected to continue declining following the economic damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Owing to the economic climate which has had an effect on licence holders’ disposal of cash, compliance levels have not improved and are expected to steadily decline for the remainder of 2020,” it said.

The SABC also outlined its plans to recover licence fee revenue in South Africa.

These include new marketing campaigns, developments in technology requirements, campaigns to increase debit orders, and settlements of licence fees in arrears.

It said it continually pursues TV licence fee collections on a monthly basis despite all the challenges faced.

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SABC explains TV licence fee plans for 2020