Cape Town – SABC CEO James Aguma shocked on Wednesday by telling parliament the SABC wants the Broadcasting Act changed to include more viewing devices so that more people need a SABC TV licence, for instance for computers, cellphones and tablets.
Aguma, SABC executives and the SABC’s new interim board appeared before parliament’s portfolio committee on communications to brief members of parliament about the latest situation at the crisis-riddled public broadcaster and its revised corporate plan.
He said the SABC is budgeting for lower revenue from SABC TV licences this year, but that the SABC wants to see changes made to the Broadcasting Act to make it mandatory for people to pay a TV licence for more devices they view content on.
Currently people are required to pay a TV licence for a device that can receive a TV signal. As video-on-demand (VOD), digital broadcasting and video content channeled through other device however grows, millions more South Africans are watching TV content on computers, laptops, cellphones, tablets and other devices.
Aguma told parliament that if the Broadcasting Act is changed, it would broaden the collection base for SABC TV licences which in turn would help to increase the potential revenue the public broadcaster could collect from this income stream.