Advanced Television

MultiChoice refuses to add SABC licence fees

June 17, 2021

By Chris Forrester

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”.

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