Many South Africans own television sets, but few use them to watch SABC channels or receive a broadcast television signal. Thanks to affordable, fast and uncapped internet, many South Africans have shifted to streaming services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix and Showmax.
This raises an all important question: Do you need a TV licence?
Technically, no, but there is still a procedure to follow in order for you to have it cancelled, explains Lowvelder.
Who needs a TV licence?
In terms of the Broadcasting Act, No 4 of 1999, any person that has possession or uses a television set must have a TV licence. In South Africa, you should not be able to purchase a TV without presenting your TV licence number at the checkout counter. You will still need a licence, even if the TV isn’t being used.
What classifies as a TV?
A TV set is any device designed or adapted to be capable of receiving a broadcast television signal.
Removing your TV’s tuner
Again, you cannot own a device which can receive a broadcast television signal. This includes a decoder or a TV set. To render your TV incapable of receiving a broadcast signal, you will need to remove its TV tuner. This has to be done by a professional, and must be checked by an SABC inspector who charges R300 afterwards.
After this process, you will need to send proof that your TV cannot receive a signal to the SABC annually. If an inspector comes to check, you will have to fork out an additional R300.
Disposing of your TV set
Conditions that qualify:
- If you have sold, given away, or lost your TV, you are no longer required to have a TV licence. The SABC must be notified on a prescribed form (affidavit) of the changed scenario.
- You donated or gave away your TV, you will need to supply the new owner’s details as well as their TV licence number, if necessary.
- If the TV was stolen, you need to provide the date of theft and case number under which the crime was reported to the police.
- If your TV was repossessed, you need the store manager’s signature or store stamp on the affidavit.
- The most noteworthy thing to remember that a TV licence cannot be cancelled while there is outstanding money on an account.
To cancel your TV licence, you will need a prescribed affidavit. The form needs to be completed and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org as a cancellation request.
The SABC says that it reserves the right to dispatch inspectors to verify whether you still have a TV or not, and should a TV be found in your possession after the processing of your cancellation, you will be liable for the payment of outstanding TV Licence fees and penalties.
Consequently, if the case ends up in court, you could also face a R500 fine, six months in prison, or both as a result.
Here is the correct Affidavit form. Click here to view the full size.
Credit: Gov.za, Outa and Agreements Online
Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance regarding your unique requirements.