The statement, which had the SABC logo and SABC acting corporate affairs and marketing executive spokesperson, Mmoni Seapolelo’s name and contact details on it, was quickly circulated by users on social media, including prominent figures such as Brenthurst Wealth financial advisor Magnus Heystek.
While the statement was in keeping with the style and formatting of official SABC statements, it turns out that the statement is fake.
The SABC issued a statement on its website and on Twitter stating that it would “like to alert the public of a fake media statement which is circulating on various social media platforms titled Introduction of Radio Licences as part of SABC’s drive to generate revenue.
The SABC would like to alert the public of a fake media statement which is circulating on various social media platforms titled “INTRODUCTION OF RADIO LICENCES AS PART SABC’S DRIVE TO GENERATE REVENUE”. pic.twitter.com/MrFJ5Y3OMS
— SABC (@SABCPortal) May 8, 2023
According to the fake statement car radio users would have to pay an annual SABC car radio licence fee of R401, and if not, they would face a penalty fine of R750.00 or 90 days in jail. It states that according to section 69 of the telecommunications act of 1996, all South Africans who use motor vehicles with radios are required to always carry a car radio licence with them.
In South Africa radio licences were first issued in 1924, but this licence was discontinued when the general SABC TV Licence came into being.
However, the fake statement maintains that the SABC has seen a dramatic decline in TV licence revenue due to streaming services such as Netflix becoming ever more popular, we as the SABC, therefore, had to look at new revenue streams".
In reality, the SABC together with the Department of Communications want to discontinue the SABC TV licence fee and replace it with a household levy.