TV licence fee hike possibility for South Africa

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 12-03-2012

The cash-strapped South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is planning to raise the TV licence fees currently paid by around 12 million households in the country, pending government approval.

Local reports suggest the SABC is also warning it will have a cash flow shortfall of millions if it is to invest in digital terrestrial television.
Currently the usual household TV license costs South Africans R250 per year, and is payable by law.
The country's public broadcaster has improved the collection of TV licence fees from R868 million in 2010 to R872 in 2011.
By March 2013, the SABC aims to increase this amount by a further R46 million.
The move, and the suggested licence fee increase, are part of its turnaround strategy, formulated following the R1.47 billion government bail out which saved the broadcaster from financial collapse in 2009.
According to the Department of Communications the SABC is expecting to make a net loss of R92 million for the current financial year - R105 million lower than the R12 million net profit that was earlier projected.
A further shortfall of R836 million is now predicted by the public broadcaster, according to Channel 24, if it is to increase its current three channels to 18 digital TV channels during South Africa's migration from analogue transmission in the coming two years.
SABC says it will require government help in order to achieve its digital aims.