It’s no secret that the SABC, like pretty much all SOEs, is hard-pressed for cash at the moment.
Given its precarious situation, the SABC has been desperately exploring possibilities to make up for its failing revenue. However, its latest idea has left many residents scratching their heads.
As reported by Business Day, the latest proposal is to implement new laws that will compel pay-TV operators such as MultiChoice as well as streaming services like Netflix to collect licence fees on the SABC’s behalf.
“We are looking at urgent policy and legislation reforms, including engaging with those who carry SABC programmes on their pay-TV .
“It should be ‘must carry, must pay’, but also to say how they can help us collect TV licence fees. We are not only limiting it to TV, we also have other platforms where people consume content,” said deputy communications minister Pinky Kekana in her parliamentary presentation on October 20.
The GO! & Express asked its audience what it thought of the proposal and the responses were a uniform “No”.
Melissa Anne Bottcher raised a rather obvious concern with the new law: “Am I going to have to pay a ‘TV’ licnce for streaming Netflix on my phone?”
This worry was shared by Jessica Christine Watkins, who asked: “I’m just a little confused, would we have to pay if we watch Netflix on our computers or laptops? How are they going to know if you are watching on a TV or a computer? And how will they even know if you have Netflix? It’s linked to an email address that has nothing to do with the SABC.”
Gareth Otte probably summed it up best with his comment: “Like having a fishing license [sic] to eat at the Ocean Basket.”