South African government increases TV licence to plug the financial gap


On Aug. 7th 2009, South Africa's Department of Communications has posted a notice on its Government Gazette notifying an increase in TV licence.

The mandate of the SABC as a national public broadcaster has become critical to SA as a developmental state. The SABC has to deliver on this mandate in harsh economic environment characterized not only by fierce competition and dwindling adspend. In addition, the Broadcasting Migration policy (2008) has also placed the public broadcaster as a leader in driving South Africa to a digital environment, thus further compounding the already onerous mandate.

The note highlights a stronger funding model needed to deliver SABC's mandate without compromise, adding that no tariff increase were implemented since 2004.

The new TV licence fees have thus been increased between 8 and 13%, and by a further 122% for contraventions and penalties per dealer outlet.