It seems the South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC) is running out of ways to get South Africans to pay their TV licences. The embattled state broadcaster detailed that it plans to rely on the private sector to help them collect TV licence fees, placing a specific focus on Multichoice’s pay-TV brand DStv.
Play-Pay TV licences
The Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams raised the idea to rope in Multichoice and DStv as the licence fee collector. You know, because they already get money from their subscribers. But according to a recent call with investors, Multichoice’s CEO Calvo Mawela revealed that it cannot be held responsible to collect the fees on behalf of the SABC.
“Our position is very clear. We can’t be held responsible for collecting money on behalf of a government entity,” says Mawela. “The government entity itself needs to find a way to collect such monies.”
As most South Africans may know, the state broadcaster has never attempted to implement a streamlined channel aimed at obtaining licencing fees. In South Africa, TV owners pay a small annual fee and gain access to ‘free’ channels on SABC. According to SABC chief financial officer, Yolande van Biljon only about 2.5 million of the 9.5 million TV licence holders actually pay their licencing fees.