South Africa’s Multichoice is declining to add local licence fees that residents have to pay for viewing SABC transmissions. The nation has a habit of not paying such fees and the government wanted Multichoice to add the costs to their monthly/annual subscriber amounts.
Currently some 24 per cent of South Africans pay the obligatory fee, and the percentage falls every year.
The country’s Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has draft legislation underway to force local pay-TV providers to add the viewing fees to their subscription bills. Owners of computer tablets and laptops will also be obliged to have a licence and pay SABC TV whether they watch SABC content or not.
Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO, during the pay-TV operator’s investors’ call last week said that MultiChoice cannot be collecting for the SABC, commenting: “Our position is simply very clear: We can’t be held responsible for collecting money on behalf of the SABC. The SABC itself needs to find a way to collect such monies”.