SABC wants all SA households to pay R265 ‘TV tax’ – even those who don’t watch TV

VAAL TRIANGLE - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) plans to introduce an annual household levy of R265 on the eight million households currently in its TV licence billing system. The Sunday Times reports the SABC said the levy should apply to all households, including those that use smartphones, tablets and computers to stream TV and radio shows – even if they were not watching SABC programmes. Instead, the levy would effectively be placed on households who are simply capable of accessing SABC programming. The levy is expected to generate up to R2 billion a year for the SABC – a lifeline for the embattled national broadcaster which has seen TV licence fee collections dwindle over the last few years. Indigent households and pensioners would be exempt from paying the levy, with pay-TV subscription services such as Multichoice expected to help with collection on behalf of the national broadcaster. Presenting to parliament at the end of February, deputy minister of Communications Pinky Kekana said the expanded definition of a TV licence is outdated and needs to be adjusted to current realities. However, Kekana said this was just a proposal and that any additional levies and taxes would have to be approved by Finance minister Tito Mboweni.

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