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TV Licence Requirements and Technology

- Featured article by LAWYERS-ONLINE.CO.ZA - October 2018

072 847 6416 |

The modern world is home to a generation who kicked the traditional television set and instead access their home entertainment on a number of modern technological devices, such as laptops, smart phones, iPads and tablets; the generation of cord-cutters and cord-nevers as they are called.

It makes sense that people no longer want to limit themselves to what’s available on TV only, sit through those frustratingly annoying adverts or wait for next week’s episode of the Game of Thrones to see what happens next.

I’d say the biggest benefit of the new-world (in terms of home entertainment) is that adverts is a thing of the past and will soon become a historic memory told to future generations, much like the tale of the first landline telephone.

However, modern devices cast a pretty big shadow on TV licences, and while 8 million of the 9million television users in South Africa treat this shadow like an avoidable benefit, a new dawn looms upon these alternative television sets.

SABC calls upon all who watch televised content to pay for TV licences even if the televised content is not viewed on a traditional television set. Most of the TV-watching public has gotten away with buying computer monitors or displays instead of televisions so as to avoid paying for a TV licence. This is no longer possible. If your monitor is connected to certain devices and acts as a television set you are liable to pay a TV licence.

MyBroadBand says “any combination of devices – a VCR, DSTV, M-net decoder or DVD recorder linked to a monitor, plasma or LCD screen – is also defined as a television set. When the monitor becomes a TV set, its user becomes liable to pay a TV licence.”

For those who have not paid for a TV licence in a while, the annual fee is R265.00 with a possible fee hike in the near future.

To complete the information in this article it is worth mentioning that “just not paying it” is not an option either. Many might entertain the idea that if you don’t go forth and pay the TV licence SABC will never know. Be aware that SABC launched a TV license inspectorate that will see contracted inspectors knocking on people’s doors to check if they are in possession of a valid TV licence.

SABC also aims to implement stricter penalties for noncompliance. There is no getting away from it, and to be on the right side of the law, make sure you have your TV license paid up and available to avoid possible legal liability for noncompliance.

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072 847 6416 |

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