[listen] ChaiFM – New Blue Review with Benji Shulman (Rob Hutchinson as guest)

  • If you’re watching Netflix and DSTV on your phone, laptop, tablet or the good old fashioned TV box, the SABC could force you to pay your TV licence.
  • A draft White Paper on Audio and Visual Content Services was released by the department of Communications and Digital Technologies in September which paves the way for the SABC to “delegate the collection of the payment of television licence fees to other persons.”
  • While subscribers may not necessarily have to brace for increases just yet, he agrees that “other persons” in the Broadcasting Act could include Netflix and Multichoice
  • ICASA spokesperson Paseka Maleka said: “Section 27(7) of the Broadcasting Act provides the SABC with the discretion to delegate the collection of the payment of television licence fees to other persons.”
  • SABC spokesperson, Mmoni Seapolelo said “It must be noted that the public broadcaster’ reference to ‘other persons’ applies to any supplier or third party that the SABC deems necessary to collect licence fees. This includes other parties external to the SABC i.e. Debt Collection Agencies, Retailers, Inspectors etc,”.



The Draft White Paper on Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework was presented by the Department of Communications which was welcomed by the Committee. Members were concerned with growing SABC revenue; the role of ICASA being the regulator versus the Minister; the interpretation of the word ‘broadcaster’ in the Act; the role of a commercial service in the public broadcaster; the Minister’s intervention in the Section 189 process at the SABC.

A presentation was given on public service broadcasters (PSB) in European countries that spoke to the evolution of audiovisual media regulation in the EU to improve the level playing field between TV and video-on-demand (VOD) services. Special rules for PSB are defined at the national level for advertising, local content quotas, investment obligations; performance measurements for compliance with public service obligations; licence fees; and investment obligations.

Members engaged in a discussion on finding ways to save the SABC and strategies to get people to pay for their TV licence.