The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is in the process of requesting parliament to review its public broadcasting policy with regards to obtaining TV licence fees from people who view content on tablets and other devices.
This comes amid media reports that those who watch Netflix and DStv on phones, laptops or tablets could be forced to pay a TV licence.
Head of TV licences Sylvia Tladi, says, “What we are requesting parliament to review in the legislation is that a television set should be considered to include other devices where people or consumers view or stream content, particularly SABC content or receive a broadcast signal. What we have proposed as well, is that when they do purchase these devices at a point of sale where people are buying decoders, set-top boxes or any device capable of receiving a broadcast signal, there needs to be a verification of whether the posses a valid licence.”
In 2018, Deputy Minister of Communications, Pinky Kekana, said unpaid TV licences were partly to blame for the SABC’s financial woes.
The SABC is in dire financial strain and retrenchments are in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it is considering strike action over possible retrenchments at the SABC. The SABC, in its June Section 189 notice, said that as many as 600 full time workers could be retrenched.
Labour union, Bemawu, says it is likely to approach the Labour Court this week after the SABC failed to respond to its letter of demand by Saturday midday.
The unions have accused the SABC of unreasonably refusing them an extension to the labour consultation process.
Bemawu elaborates on the issue in the video below:
CWU General Secretary, Aubrey Tshabalala, says the union’s members are planning on embarking on industrial action.
“Absolutely, that is what we are looking into. We have been having discussions and we can confirm as labour movement that we need to take industrial action. The SABC management refused to engage in discussions. They presented a corporate plan which was questioned, but they don’t respond to the questions that have been raised. In the new structure that they presented, it appears that it is no longer a cutting cost exercise, but you can see that the structure will be bloated at the top and the staff are at entry level.”
Bemawu to approach Labour Court
Trade union, Bemawu, said on Sunday it is considering heading to the Labour Court.