The SABC and the Department of Communication want Television Licences to be expanded. Ideally, according to the department, all devices that are used to view content should be charged license fees. The Department of Communication and the South African Broadcasting Corporation briefed Parliament’s Communications Committee on a number of issued affecting the business like TV licences and staff retrenchments.
The SABC generated 82% of its revenue for the 2018/19 financial year from commercial activities and only 15% from TV licences. The SABC now wants to improve its licence revenue and is targeting people who use gadgets like tablets and smartphones and watch non-SABC content. This would however require an amendment to the Broadcasting Act.
Pinky Kekana, Deputy Communications Minister, told Parliament that TV licence regime needed to be expanded. “We are not only looking into TV we also have other platforms where people consume content and all those areas are where we are looking at where we can get TV licence fees from those gadgets.” She continued that government’s audio visual white paper also addressed the issue of advertising and how advertising regulations impacted the company’s finances.