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Fewer South Africans paying SABC TV licences

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Fewer South Africans are bothering to pay their SABC TV licences with the beleaguered South African public broadcaster that’s experiencing another dramatic plunge in TV licence fee income.

The SABC’s latest annual report for 2016/2017 shows that while the out-of-cash SABC keeps spending more and more money in SABC TV licence fee collection, the broadcaster keeps getting less and less from fed-up South Africans who refuse to pay.

In the past year the SABC doubled up in its TV licence fee collection activities, appointing and paying another external company while the SABC had a division of staffers for SABC TV licence fee collections who told the SABC interim board they have nothing or little to do.

Less than a third of South African TV households who should be paying SABC TV licence fees, do.

According to the SABC’s shocking latest annual report – and likely due to the ongoing bad press and revelations of mismanagement at the SABC, the broadcaster made only R847.4m in TV licence fee collection.

This R847m is a whopping 34.7% below the projected budget, or R449.4m less that what the SABC hoped for.

It’s also an astounding R178.5m less than the previous year when SABC TV licence fee revenue also fell. This downward slide represents another 17.4% decline compared to last year.

“The revenue was negatively affected due to the decline in revenue collections from renewals and debt collection revenue streams,” said the SABC.

Meanwhile there’s growing confusing in Namibia, South Africa’s western neighbour, where that country’s public broadcaster, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) wants that country’s police service to now help and “compel” Namibians to pay their TV licence.

The police last week said they have not received “directives” on how the NBC expects them to go about it.

Missed deadlines

The SABC that is “commercially insolvent” according to the Auditor-General (AG) and wants a whopping R3bn government bail-out similar to its last massive bailout of R1.47bn in 2009, continues to drift aimlessly.

The South African government has missed the deadline to appoint the new SABC board with communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo and president Jacob Zuma who have fumbled the process to try and bring stability back to the public broadcaster and its decimated board.

The interim SABC board’s term expired last Tuesday.

The term of the SABC’s acting executives in the positions of CEO, COO and CFO expires on Thursday.

SABC staffers are threatening to strike with SABC News that reported that reported that “staff morale inside the SABC are at its lowest level”.

SABC News reported that salary negotiations were suspended after the SABC offered no increase this year, stating that it was bankrupt.

And in another SABC staffer strike threat, the Broadcasting, Electronic, Media & Allied Workers Union (Bemawu) has also warned SABC TV news technically staffers will strike, threatening a SABC TV news blackout.

Bemawu president Hannes du Buisson on 702 radio explained that over 100 SABC TV news personnel are threatening to go on strike and how the SABC’s SABC Television News faces a blackout if that happens.

SABC staffers are demanding that the SABC reverse a shocking decision to merge their unit with with Henley Television Studio Facilities.

The SABC Television News technical personnel say the SABC must undo the merger or news employees will go on strike.

According to Hannes du Buisson, SABC staffers believe that the shocking merger was done to protect enforcers of the corrupt SABC regime from losing their jobs and to shield them from their bad financial mismanagement.

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