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After decades of struggling to make money out of TV licences, the SABC has finally admitted defeat and have scrapped the concept.

During a briefing to Parliament’s Communications and Digital Technologies portfolio committee last week, SABC board chair Khathutselo Ramukumba said the 2022/2023 financial year showed the state owned broadcaster’s biggest increase in evasion since the Covid-19 pandemic.

To put that into perspective, less than 13% of TV licence holders paid their fees last year. The two previous years that number was about 18%.

Ramukumba confirmed that the numbers were correct regarding a loss of over R1 billion in the SABC’s 2022/2023 financial year.

“The board is inheriting an institution which has reported a loss of R1.1 billion at the end of March 2023.”

He also added that increased competition from streaming services, loadshedding and the analogue switch-off reduced advertised streaming, making it difficult for the broadcaster to make money.

Official communication detailing when the need to pay for a TV licence will be brought to an end, is still to be supplied.

Image credit: SABC

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