A significant number of South Africans stopped paying television licence fees in the past year, the SABC’s 2017 annual report shows.
Revenue from licence fees plummeted 17.4% year on year as the public broadcaster lurched from crisis to crisis under the leadership of now-ousted executive Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
The SABC also dramatically missed its revenue collection targets for licence fees in the 2017 financial year, according to the annual report.
“For the period under review, cash revenue of R847.4m was collected. This figure was R449.4m (34.7%) below budget, representing a decrease of R178.5m (17.4%) compared to the previous financial year,” it said.
“During this period, operating revenue was R915.1m, which was R231.9m (20.2%) below budget, translating into a decrease of R71.3m (7.2%) for year-on-year comparison.”
The broadcaster blamed the poor numbers on a decline in revenue collections from renewals and debt collection revenue streams.
Legally, South Africans who own a television or a device capable of receiving SABC channels must pay an annual licence fee. Income from licence fees contributes about 10% to the SABC’s annual operating revenue, with the bulk coming from advertising.
Total revenue for the 2017 financial year, which ended on 31 March, was R7.5bn, down from R8bn in 2016. The corporation reported a loss of R977m, compared to a loss a year ago of R412m. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media