SABC TV licence fee collections plummet - TechCentral

SABC TV licence fee collections plummet

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


  1. And are they surprised? The SABC has become a government TV channel, while it is supposed to be independent. So, I am not paying any contribution to ANC propaganda. Even now showerhead, is trying to influence the approval of the new board.

  2. I stopped paying the SANC TV licence during the last elections when they refused to air a DA advert despite a court order compelling them to do so. I will never contribute to this corrupt, evil SOE and encourage anyone who cares about this country to boycott paying the license fee.

  3. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I haven’t paid for a few years, but had to pay this year – they got a debt collection agency on to me. Luckily it was only for the current outstanding amount. I went and paid on SABC’s site, and then told the debt collection guys I’d already paid – hopefully this causes some admin nightmare for someone 🙂

  4. About 13 m households have TV, 850m is collected in TV license fees.
    This 850 m is just a coarse income, no doubt several 100s of millions must
    be deducted in fee collection costs.At the SABC, the credit bureaus and
    collecting agencies and the TV retailers concur also costs in asking for
    peoples TV licenses and being part of the system.So let’s assume for
    arguments sake R 650 m is collected net.
    R 850 m means 3.2 m households and businesses are paying their R 265 annual fees.Lets say 3m are households, which means only 23% of households are having a paid up license.
    Let’s not even talk about the money wasting, corruption and bias at the national broadcaster, but with TV license forming less than 10% of their revenue, and only 23% of households
    paying up, this is an unfair and totally inefficient way of tax collection, and should be scrapped ASAP.
    Australia, Netherlands dumped their broadcasting licenses ages ago. Most countries do without.
    In Backward Brexit Britain they still have inspectors knocking on doors.

  5. Samuel Clemens on

    These idiots continue to pursue me for ‘unpaid license fees’ for the last 7 years in which I haven’t set foot in SA and am no longer even a citizen. Go for it, I say.

  6. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Hah no – happy ending to the story – collection agency hasn’t bugged me, and my balance at SABC reflects as zero.

  7. Just ignore the debt collectors. I had numerous ones after me for years. All just empty threats.
    Don’t pay… its the right thing to do

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