Broadcasting Services

South Africa: Petitioning Against TV Licence Fees For OTT Streaming Access

The South African Democratic Alliance (DA) - a political opposition party - has announced that it is starting a petition against the country's government move to institute what it has called the "controversial SABC TV licence regime for over-the-top (OTT) streaming services.
With the government legislative plan, people accessing streaming media services via any internet-connected devices will be obliged to pay for a SABC TV Licence for these devices, and the government may mandate the platform owners to collect the licence fee upfront on behalf of the SABC.
Extracts from the DA's petition states: "Given the emergence of streaming services like Netflix, Apple TV+, Showmax, Amazon Prime Video and others, the department of communications and digital technologies (in South Africa) proposes broadening the definition of a 'broadcasting service' to include online broadcasting services," This means that subscribers would have to pay a SABC TV Licence fee for watching any 'broadcasting services', including streaming services, regardless of whether it's on a TV, a computer or a phone.
The DA says it is of the mind that this is a bad idea. It says "The SABC must find creative ways to self-sustain and break-even without making people pay out any more money." To this point, the DA says it will join with the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) to raise public awareness and thwart the unrealistic policy that keeps propping up the SABC.

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