South African Broadcasting Corporation Wants People To Pay TV Licenses For Smartphones, Computers And Tablets

In an interesting statement in South Africa's parliament on 10 May 2017, the South African Broadcasting Corporation's (SABC) CEO James Aguma said that the country's Broadcasting Act should be amended to include collection of SABC TV license fees from people viewing devices such as computers, tablets and mobile phones. Aguma made the request representing the SABC appearing before parliament’s portfolio committee on communications.

His remarks come as the public broadcaster in South Africa is experiencing financial difficulties with Aguma and his colleagues in SABC's interim board being asked by parliament to present their new plan to turn around the fortunes of the organisation.

Aguma also said that MultiChouce's DStv should assist the public broadcaster in collecting SABC TV licenses. He said that should the Broadcasting Act be changed and to allow for collection of TV license fees from a wider range of qualifying devices that content is viewed on, it would allow the SABC to have more income from TV licenses and increase the organisation's revenue.

This would be an interesting request to track by the SABC as the South African Broadcasting Act only allows for TV licenses to be collected annually for devices that can only receive a TV broadcasting signal which in turn excludes smartphones, laptops etc. despite many people using them to view video content.

Also, not only do people view video content on these devices but are already paying to view this content in one way or another whether it be through the data they purchase through telecommunications companies or subscription fees for the video streaming services.

Aguma raised this request as the SABC is already budgeting for lower income from TV license fees in 2017.

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