SABC Media Release

OUTA charges debt collectors over SABC TV licence fees

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has laid charges at the Council for Debt Collectors of South Africa against Pritchard and Associates, the debt collector firm who are collecting TV License Fees and debt on behalf of the SABC.

According to OUTA’s research, Pritchard and Associates were not registered with the Council as debt collectors prior to 23 December 2016 and were operating as the SABC debt collection agency, despite registration being a legal requirement for all debt collectors.

Upon completion of an investigation conducted by the Debt Council, Pritchard & Associates may face stiff fines of up to R100 000 for every threatening SMS or email sent before the date of registration with the Council of Debt Collectors.

“Debt should be collected by a lawfully registered debt collector or by an attorney. As Pritchard & Associates was not registered with the proper authorities, OUTA contends that the company misrepresented themselves, rendering all collections conducted by them in the past unlawful,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s chairman.

The complaint follows an extensive investigation by OUTA into irregularities within the SABC which identified Pritchard and Associates as being one of the preferred debt collectors.

“We will not stand back whilst those who abuse authority bully the public,” Duvenage says.

Whilst OUTA has evidence of Pritchard and Associates conduct, we call on supporters of the public who have received threatening SMS’s or emails from Pritchard & Associates prior to 23 December 2016 to electronically submit the proof of these threats to OUTA via a dedicated “TV License Threats” portal on the OUTA website at www.outa.co.za/tvlic. This supporting evidence will be added to our charges with the Debt Council and will increase the penalties regarding the unlawful conduct, if indeed the Council finds them guilty of misconduct.

OUTA’s research into this matter has uncovered a number of related issues, companies and people who are receiving our attention for possible legal action.

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