Another week, another ridiculous scheme to bring in more money by the SABC. While South Africans are still getting over the stupidity of attempting to extend the TV license requirements to any device capable of streaming video content, the SABC is trying to implement further plans to squeeze more cash out of the nation.
During a recent Portfolio Committee on Communications meeting (which is over four hours long, never let it be said we don’t suffer for you), Deputy Minister of Communications Pinky Kekana suggested that the SABC be declared a Public Service Media Broadcaster.
Why would they want to change what kind of organisation they’re classified as? Well, that’s because if it is declared a Public Service Media Broadcaster, they’ll be able to gain funds via household tax. Basically, if you own a house you’ll have to shoot some cash over to the SABC, even if you don’t actually own a TV or make use of its services. Which everyone will no doubt happily accept, right? Right?
During the meeting yesterday Kekana said, “The main goal is to declare the SABC a public service media broadcaster. If you do that, the SABC will be able to be competitive.” What she’s alluding to is the fact that the South African Broadcast Corporation is being outclassed in terms of both service and content via private online publishers and distributors like Netflix and Showmax.
Everyone’s favourite broadcast corporation is suffering from a lack of funding right now as more and more people begin to head online for their entertainment. The introduction of a household tax is one such method to boost the organisation’s income, while the suggestion of the TV license expansion is another such method. The SABC even recently announced that it would be launching it’s own streaming service in a desperate bid to compete with Netflix. In the same breath, it also suggested forcing private broadcasters like Multichoice to collect TV license money.
The SABC is currently working on these suggestions, and it’ll only be introduced as a new form of tax by the Finance Minister if they chose to. One has to hope that such a ridiculous tax isn’t actually entertained but these days you never know…