Buying A TV In South Africa
By law, every customer must have a valid TV licence when purchasing a television set or any appliance with a built-in TV
What Are The Types Of TV Licence In South Africa
There are six types:
1] A domestic licence, previously known as a private licence, for households and/or individuals, authorising the use of the licensed set(s) at the user’s registered residential premises only;
2] A concessionary domestic licence;
3] A business licence, for entities (including government departments) using TV sets in their business/commercial activities or on-premises occupied for business purposes;
4] A dealer licence, for businesses selling TV sets;
5] A lessor licence, for businesses renting out television sets; and
6] A mobile licence, for a TV set in any vehicle, caravan, mobile home, vessel or aircraft used for private purposes.
How To Pay And Renew Your TV Licence
It’s now easier than ever to pay your television licence. We’ve made sure that there is a convenient, accessible way for every person in South Africa to pay. At just R265 per year, it makes sense to stay within the law. Avoid the hefty fines, and find a payment plan that suits you.
A television licence secures your legal viewing for an entire year and is payable in advance.
- First-time applicants for a television licence must pay the full annual fee of R265.
- Renewals must be made annually before the licence expires.
- Renewal payments may be spread throughout the year at R28 per month.
- Monthly payments are subject to a small premium for the convenience. The total cost is therefore R336 per year.
Forgetting to renew your TV licence means a penalty of 10% per month to a maximum of 100% per annum. So, paying by annual debit order is the most convenient way to ensure that this never happens.
You may now also pay online now by using your credit card, or online at your own banking website using the TV Licences account details, or go to the EasyPay website for virtual peace of mind. But just in case you would rather pay in person, there are many options of where to pay. We’ve extended our physical paypoint network to ensure that there is always a location near you. Other payment options include cheque or postal order payments through the postal system.
What Is A TV Retailer Licence?
A dealer television licence is compulsory for every store where television sets are on display, awaiting sale. If your company has five branches where TV sets are for sale, five dealer’s licences are required by law – irrespective of the number of television sets displayed on the premises. Compliance with the law costs only R265 annually per store. However, television sets that are used for business purposes and are not merely on display are required to be separately licensed in terms of the regulations applicable to businesses. Please refer to the latest Television Licence Fees for each Television Licence category.
Prior to the sale of a television set, you are required under the Broadcasting Act no 4 of 1999 as amended, to verify that a prospective purchaser is the holder of a valid (paid-up) TV licence. Failure to do so has costly consequences. A retailer selling a TV set to an unlicensed purchaser is liable for a penalty of between R3000 and R10 000 for every set so sold. A retailer is also required to capture the details of clients to whom sets are sold in order to submit a written monthly register to the SABC.
The Broadcasting Act stipulates monthly and yearly compliance requirements for retailers:
- On a monthly basis, a written sales register reflecting the number of television sets sold in the previous month must be sent to the SABC.
- On a yearly basis (within thirty days of the end the licensing year) an audit statement reflecting the number of TV sets that were sold or alienated in the previous licensing year must be sent to the SABC.
What Is A Business Television Licence?
A business television licence is compulsory for every TV set used in business or commercial activities, or on-premises occupied for business purposes. Should you have three television sets on your business premises each set needs to be licensed. Compliance with the law costs only R265 annually per television set. The penalties – double the annual licence fee – are far greater. So, control your costs and pay yours now via any one of our convenient payment channels. It’s the right thing to do.
Documents for download:
- Audit Statement – Annexure C
- Debit Order Form
- Monthly Register TV Transaction
- TV Licence Regulations
- TV Licence Tariff Increase 2013
How To Check your Tv Balance & Pay
It’s never been easier to check your balance.
SA TV Licence Deadlines For Businesses And Retailers
- A business must renew its television licence(s) by no later than the 7th of its renewal month in order to avoid accruing penalties, which are loaded on the 8th of the month.
- A business must submit, within 30 days after the end of its licence year, an Annual Audited Statement reflecting the number of TV sets and the period for which those sets were in its possession during that licensing period.
- In its own interest, a business must settle any outstanding balance on its account without delay to avoid the matter being referred to the SABC’s attorneys for debt collection.
- A business should return update letters (confirming its address and contact details) to TV Licences a month before the end of its licence year.
- Payment of television licence fees should be made within seven days after the end of a retailer’s licence year in order to avoid accruing penalties on its account.
- Retailers’ Monthly Sales Registers must reach TV Licences within seven days after the end of each calendar month.
- Annual Audited Statements must reach TV Licences within 30 days after the end of a retailer’s licence year.
- Validation of a prospective purchaser’s TV licence: validation must be done before the sale of a television set by phoning the SABC’s Retailer Validation Call Centre on the toll free number (0800 00 9704)
Frequently Asked Questions On TV Licence In South Africa
Q: WHO NEEDS A TELEVISION LICENCE?
A: In terms of the Broadcasting Act, No 4 of 1999, as amended, any person or entity that has in its possession and/or uses a TV set. A licence remains payable, irrespective of whether a television set in one’s possession is used or not.
Q: WHEN IS A TELEVISION LICENCE PAYABLE, AND FOR HOW LONG IS A LICENCE VALID?
A: A television licence is payable in advance, before the beginning of a licence holder’s licence year. A licence is valid for one year and the licence period is indicated on the licence.
Q: WHAT IS A TELEVISION SET, AS DEFINED IN THE BROADCASTING ACT?
A: Any device designed or adapted to be capable of receiving a broadcast television signal. That includes a PC fitted with a TV tuner card, or a videocassette recorder (VCR) connected to a monitor or TV screen.
Q: WHAT ARE THE ANNUAL LICENCE FEES?
A: R265.00 per annum for a domestic, business, dealer, lessor or mobile television licence, and R74.00 per annum for a concessionary TV licence.
Q: HOW SHALL I KNOW WHEN TO RENEW MY TV LICENCE?
A: The SABC sends out renewal notices ±2 months in advance. However, non-receipt of such notice is not an excuse for failure to renew nor for late renewal.
Q: WHAT DO I NEED WHEN RENEWING MY LICENCE?
A: On renewal, one needs to present one’s existing TV licence, a copy thereof, or a renewal notice.
Q: MAY ONE PAY THE LICENCE FEE IN INSTALMENTS?
A: Yes – but when first applying for a television licence, the full R265.00 annual fee is payable. Thereafter, a domestic licence may be paid in monthly instalments of R28.00 per month. However, a R74.00 concessionary licence is payable only in a lump sum – not in monthly or quarterly instalments.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF I FAIL TO PAY MY TELEVISION LICENCE FEES?
A: Overdue accounts are handed over to the SABC’s lawyers for debt collection. If payments are late, an account incurs a penalty of 10% per month to a maximum of 100% per annum.
Q: WHAT ARE THE LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF CONTRAVENING THE TV LICENCE LEGISLATION?
A: Anyone found guilty in court of failing to comply with the law may be sentenced to a fine of not more than R500.00 or to imprisonment for up to six months, or both.
Q: OUR FAMILY HAS MORE THAN ONE TELEVISION SET. HOW MANY TV LICENCES DO WE NEED?
A: A single domestic licence is required per household, provided that: all sets so licensed are used only at the licence holder’s residential premises; all sets so licensed are used only by members of the licence holder’s family.
Q: WHO ARE REGARDED AS “MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY”?
A: All persons who are permanently resident with the licence holder and are dependent on him/her and are owed a legal duty of support by the licence holder are covered by the single domestic licence in his/her name. In other words, persons such as adult (non-dependent) children earning their own keep but residing with their parents, elderly parents receiving a pension or own income and living with their adult children, and boarders/lodgers living with a family are separately liable for payment of TV licence fees in respect of television sets in their possession or used by them.
Q: IS A TELEVISION LICENCE TRANSFERABLE FROM ONE LICENCE HOLDER TO ANOTHER?
A: No, EXCEPT between spouses or between “life partners” in a permanent relationship sharing the same residence, on the death of a husband/wife or partner.
Q: MAY ONE USE SOMEONE ELSE’S TV LICENCE TO PURCHASE A TELEVISION SET?
A: NO – one needs one’s own licence, unless one is a family member of a licence holder.
Q: DO UNMARRIED “LIFE PARTNERS” LIVING TOGETHER NEED SEPARATE LICENCES IF THEY HAVE MORE THAN ONE TV SET?
A: No – a single domestic licence is required, provided that the partners furnish the SABC with a standard affidavit confirming their status as unmarried parties to a life partnership.
Q: WHO QUALIFIES FOR A CONCESSIONARY DOMESTIC TELEVISION LICENCE?
A: One must apply to the SABC for such licence and submit the prescribed documentation with one’s application. Those who qualify are: a receiver of a Social Grant from the State, on the basis of being an aged or disabled person or a war veteran, as defined in the Social Assistance Act of 1992; a person of 70 years or older, as from the beginning of the first licence year after turning 70, subject to certain provisions.
Q: WHAT DOCUMENTATION MUST BE FURNISHED WITH MY APPLICATION FOR SUCH CONCESSION?
A: The following documents are required: In the case of receiving a State old-age, disability or war veteran’s grant, confirmation thereof in the form of a letter from the Department of Social Development, indicating the date from which the grant is being received. In the case of a person of 70 years or older, a duly completed and certified affidavit (sworn/solemn statement) confirming the applicant’s living conditions. If the applicant (and his/her spouse) shares a home with another family, a concession is granted only if such family has its own, valid (paid-up) television licence.
Q: DOES MY DOMESTIC TELEVISION LICENCE COVER THE TV SET(S) IN MY HOLIDAY HOME?
A: An additional licence fee at the full annual tariff of R265.00 is payable on a licence holder’s existing domestic TV licence account in respect of a TV set or sets in a holiday home or at additional residential premises. The licence holder’s domestic TV licence is endorsed accordingly, to reflect the physical address of such additional residential premises.
Q: DOES MY CONCESSIONARY DOMESTIC LICENCE COVER THE TV SET(S) IN MY HOLIDAY HOME?
A: No. The concession applies only to the concession holder’s permanent residence. An additional licence fee at the full annual tariff of R265.00 is payable on a licence holder’s existing concessionary TV licence account in respect of a TV set or sets in a holiday home or at additional residential premises. The licence holder’s concessionary TV licence is endorsed accordingly, to reflect the physical address of such additional residential premises.
Q: WHAT MAY A TV LICENCE INSPECTOR REQUIRE OF ME WHEN VISITING MY PREMISES?
A: The Broadcasting Act stipulates that the SABC may require a person who uses a TV set, or a person who is the owner or occupier of any premises on which a television set is used, to furnish such information as may be prescribed or necessary in order to determine whether the Act is being complied with. You may be required to furnish your TV licence, ID document and/or TV licence account number. If requested, a TV set must be produced for inspection. Information such as receipt numbers, number of television sets, addresses, etc, may also be requested in order to determine the validity of a television licence. Authorised TV Licence Inspectors may enter any premises to carry out an inspection.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M CAUGHT WITHOUT A LICENCE BY A TV LICENCE INSPECTOR?
A: Anyone found in possession of a television set without having a valid TV licence would be liable for payment of the annual licence fee, plus a penalty of double the licence fee.
Q: ARE SOME PERSONS OR ENTITIES EXEMPTED FROM PAYMENT OF LICENCE FEES?
A: Yes. Public schools are the ONLY educational institutions exempted from the legal requirement of having a television licence. Private schools, universities and other tertiary educational institutions, hospitals, old age or frail-care homes, charities and churches or religious organisations are NOT exempted. If one’s television equipment (TV set and VCR) has been “denatured” by having the receiving capability (signal receiver or “tuner”) removed, a television licence is not required.
Q: HOW IS A TV SET “DENATURED” SO THAT A TV LICENCE IS NOT REQUIRED?
A: Removal of a television set’s “tuner” renders it incapable of receiving any TV signal and, consequently, exempt from the need to be licensed. Written notice to the SABC of such denaturing must be supported by documentary proof in the form of a letter/invoice/receipt from a reputable TV repairer or installer. A R300.00 payment must accompany such application to the SABC, after which an authorised agent will be despatched to inspect the applicant’s TV equipment. On receipt of confirmation from the agent that the applicant has NO television receiving equipment [TV set(s), VCR(s) or PC(s) fitted with a tuner card] in his/her possession, he/she will be exempted from payment of licence fees for the rest of the current licensing period. Should a licence holder thereafter require such exemption to be extended, written application by way of an affidavit confirming that the applicant still has no TV receiving equipment must be made on an annual basis three months before the end of each licence year. Should an authorised inspector visit an exempted licence holder’s premises and find that the receiving capability of his/her TV equipment has been restored, he/she becomes liable for payment of all applicable licence fees and penalties, plus a R300.00 inspection fee.
Q: DO I NEED A TV LICENCE IF MY SET IS USED ONLY TO VIEW VIDEOS? WHAT MUST I DO IF I DON’T WANT TO PAY A TV LICENCE?
A: What a television set is used for is irrelevant in terms of the legal liability for payment of TV licence fees. As long as one has television receiving equipment in one’s possession a licence remains payable. If one doesn’t want to pay a licence, the SABC must be satisfied that one has no television receiving equipment in one’s possession because such equipment has either been disposed of or denatured.
Q: WHEN IS A TV LICENCE NO LONGER REQUIRED? WHAT MUST ONE DO TO CANCEL A LICENCE?
A: When one has sold or otherwise disposed of one’s television set(s) a TV licence is no longer required. The SABC must be notified on a prescribed form (affidavit) of the changed circumstances. No licence is cancelled while moneys are still outstanding on an account.
Q: ON WHAT BASIS DOES A BUSINESS ENTITY PAY LICENCE FEES FOR TELEVISION SETS?
A: Unlike private households, businesses pay per TV set used by them.
Q: ON WHAT BASIS DO TV DEALERS PAY LICENCE FEES?
A: A dealer requires a single dealer (demonstration) licence, covering the television sets on display for sale. A separate business licence is required for other TV sets used on the premises. A dealer selling a television set to an unlicensed purchaser is liable for a penalty of R3 000 to R10 000 for each set so sold.
Q: WHAT ARE A LICENCE HOLDER’S OBLIGATIONS WHEN MOVING TO A NEW ADDRESS?
A: The SABC must be informed in writing within 30 days of a change of address.
Q: HOW ARE ADDRESS CHANGES AND OTHER TV LICENCE INFORMATION CONVEYED TO THE SABC?
A: All notices to the SABC must be in writing and addressed to: The Manager, Television Licences, SABC, Private Bag X60, Auckland Park 2006; or By freepost to: JHZ153K, SABC, Auckland Park; or By fax/e-mail to the numbers/addresses on the SABC’s TV licence correspondence.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF A BANK DISHONOURS A CHEQUE FOR PAYMENT OF ONE’S TV LICENCE?
A: An amount of R100.00 excluding VAT is payable by the licence holder per dishonoured cheque returned to the SABC by its bankers or paypoints.
Q: HOW AND WHERE CAN A TV LICENCE BE PAID?
A: Details of payment options and paypoints are printed on the reverse side of your TV licence account statement.