South Africa

SABC ‘Mandates’ Additional TV License Fees For Computer Monitors

A few years ago, the SABC intended to charge people for TV licence fees for devices that connects to the internet but this was quickly nipped in the bud.

Now, according to an annual email sent from the public broadcaster, Mybroadband — the latest TV Licence Renewal mandate now includes the following:

1) Any ‘TV monitor that’s able to receive a broadcast signal by being connected to any television receiving equipment.’

2) A ‘digital box/decoder, DVD [player] or PC.’  On this additional charge, an exec at the SABC says…

It must be noted that such receiving equipment (STB, decoder, tuner, etc.) renders the TV monitor as a TV due to the television broadcast signal transmitted.              Gugu Ntuli, SABC executive

It’s been reported that these additional fees are ‘strange’ because the SABC specifically named a DVD player and PC as examples of ‘TV receiving equipment’.

But neither has this function, making it possible for licence holders to easily confuse the term ‘digital box’ for a streaming box with no broadcast-receiving functionality — sneaky or smart?

Could this be another opportunistic attempt from the SABC’s TV licence department to milk TV licence holders?  Either way, we’ll wait to see when and how this will work and more importantly, what it’ll cost… if it happens.

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