The minister of communications and digital technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, revealed that government owes the SABC over R57.1 million in outstanding SABC TV licence fees payments and advertising.
Ndabeni-Abrahams states that 20 national departments and 126 provincial departments have outstanding licence fees.
“249 municipality accounts owe SABC TV licence fees. A total of 57 SOEs [state-owned enterprises] have outstanding SABC TV licence fees on their accounts.”
According to News24, the country’s government owes R29.2 million in advertising:
- R13.1 million is owed by three national departments
- R9.2 million is owed by 24 provincial departments
- R2.3 million is owed by six municipalities
- R4.5 million is owed by SOEs for on-air advertising
The publication also states that the Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) owes a third of the debt in advertisement sales, while the Compensation Fund owes the SABC an advertising fee of R3.7 million. The eThekwini Metro, on the other hand, has yet to pay the SABC R1.1 million in advertising.
Less than a quarter of TV-watchers pay their annual TV licence, the publication reports.
According to the public broadcaster’s 2019/2020 financial report for the revenue from SABC TV, licence fees have reportedly declined by 18% year-on-year to R791 million.
This resulted in only 24% of the total licence fees billed being realised as revenue, compared to 31% for the year ended 31 March 2019, reported BusinessTech.