100,000+ South Africans Have Petitioned Against Changes To TV Licence Tax
More than 110,000 South African have voiced their opposition against plans that will force users of laptops, tablets, decoders and streaming platforms to be liable for TV licenses that will benefit the public broadcaster, the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The South African Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) has been working on the proposal and presents its draft whitepaper on "Audio and Audio-visual Content Services Policy Framework" soon. If accepted by the parliament, the whitepaper's content can progress to becoming the law of the land.
The petition that is going around, and which seem to be gathering momentum with signed support from members of the public will be asking the minister in charge of the DCDT to reconsider the proposals as currently being written into the document, because it is, according to the petitioners patently unfair.
According to those agitating via the petition, it is unfair to force people to pay a tax to the SABC just because they have, or use laptops or tablets; have access to pay-tv and streaming platforms, even if they do not consume SABC content. The petitioners are of the mind that "the SABC should be allowed to find creative means to self-sustenance".
The SABC's view, according to Sylvia Tladi - the head of the SABC's TV Licence office, is that the digital population (of internet users) in South Africa is now up to 37 million people and the legislations regards to access to broadcast or media content should be changed to reflect that fact.