According to Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana, an SABC TV license is great value for money.
Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana has called on South Africans to pay their TV licenses in order to save the SABC from complete financial collapse.
Kekana made her impassioned plea before Parliament’s communications committee on Tuesday. The Deputy Minister revealed that only 1.8 million people out of a total nine million account holders are up to date with their licensing fees. This, Kekana says, is the main reason for the public broadcaster’s financial woes.
The SABC is on its last legs
The downfall of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been well documented in recent months. Yet, the blame game has turned its focus from disgraced former chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng, to a bloated workforce and a defaulting public. Naturally, it’s this unholy combination which has, in unison, crippled the state owned enterprise.
Just how bad are things at the SABC, you may ask. Well, the national broadcaster has recorded a loss of R622 million and is struggling to pay service providers. The company has an exorbitant wage bill of R3.1 and pays R45.5 million in salaries to 40 senior managers. The only thing keeping the SABC afloat are gracious government bailouts totalling billions of rands.
TV license defaulters blamed for SABC collapse
And while company employees are living in fear of the axe, Kekana has maintained that it’s the responsibility of South Africans to keep the broadcaster afloat by paying TV licenses. The Deputy Minister even took on the position of saleswoman, arguing that a license works out to 72 cents a day, which cannot be beaten in terms of value for money.
Kekana does have a point; recent reports show that the SABC is owed a staggering R25 billion in outstanding licensing fees. Yet, South Africans, for whatever reason, continue to use the broadcaster as a free-to-view service.
The Deputy Minister’s impassioned plea, which has since been covered by EWN, called on South African’s to keep up to date with license payments or run the risk of harsher penalties, due to be imposed in the near future:
“We are also calling on our people to say it is in our hands and in our interest to make sure that we all sustain the SABC. We know the main revenue stream around the SABC has been paying off TV licenses, and that has not been happening for quite some time.”