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SABC wants expansion of TV licence fees to cover tablets, smartphones, Netflix

The department said that the current licence was limited to television, but should also include other platforms where people consumed content.

Picture: @netflix/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The SABC and the Department of Communications want TV licences expanded to also cover other platforms, including streaming services like Netflix.

The department said that the current licence was limited to television, but should also include other platforms where people consumed content.

The SABC and the department on Tuesday briefed Parliament’s Communications Committee on a number of issues affecting the business like TV licences and staff retrenchments.

During the 2018/19 financial year, the SABC generated 82% of its revenue from commercial activities and 15% from TV licences.

The broadcaster now wants to improve its licence revenue and is targeting people who use gadgets like tablets and smartphones and watch other non-SABC content.

But this would require an amendment to the Broadcasting Act.

Deputy Communications Minister Pinky Kekana told Parliament that the TV licence regime needed to be expanded.

"We are not only looking into TV we also have other platforms where people consume content and all those areas are where we are looking at where we can get TV licence fees from those gadgets."

She said that government’s audio visual white paper also addressed the issue of advertising and how advertising regulations impacted the company's finances.

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