The SABC has clarified its stance on the topic of introduction of car radio licences.
This morning, a memo widely shared on social media stated that South Africans would start paying for car radio licences in order to operate their automobile stereos. The memo was purportedly shared by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The memo stated that over the course of the last few years, the broadcaster had seen its revenue dwindle as a result of streaming services like Netflix. It added that these services have taken consumer attention away from cable television, reducing the SABC’s television licence revenue.
“Under the new section 69 of the telecommunications act of 1996, all South Africans who utilise motor vehicles with radios will be required to always carry a car radio licence with them,” the memo reads.
Furthermore, the licences would attract a charge of R401 a year with non-compliance resulting in a fine of up to R750 or up to 90 days in jail.
The memo caused quite a stir on social media with users pointing to the absurdity of the supposed revenue collection initiative.
In response, the SABC has released a press statement refuting the validity of the memo. In the statement, the broadcaster stated that it did not make any public pronouncements pertaining to licences for car radios.
Regarding TV licences, research shows that the majority of South Africans don’t pay for them, affecting the SABC’s bottom line. The broadcaster’s annual report for 2022 showed that there was an evasion rate of 81.7% over the course of the year.
The SABC has a database of 10.5 million TV licence holders, with approximately 8.6 million currently not holding a licence.