Television licence fees to go up

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pretoria - Television viewers will from this month pay more for their television licenses, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announced on Tuesday.

"The fee will increase from R225 to R250 effective from 1 August 2009," said SABC interim board chairwoman Irene Charnley.

The rise in the fee follows Communications Minister Sphiwe Nyanda's approval of an 11 percent increment in the annual tariff for business, dealers and domestic users.

However, concessionary TV licenses granted to people over the age of 70 as well as those receiving grants from the state will see them paying only 8 percent. "This would mean that the amount will increase [in this sector] from R65 to R70 per annum," Ms Charnley said.

The increase is the corporation's third in eleven years and the new tariff amounts to less than 70 cents a day.

The SABC will embark on awareness and communication campaigns to inform the public about the tariff increases.

Meanwhile, the SABC has reiterated that in terms of the Broadcasting Act, nobody may have a TV set without a valid TV license. 

The SABC further added that retailers found to be operating without a dealer television license will be fined R10 000 an outlet. 

"A dealer license costs R250 per year, per outlet, for businesses selling TV sets and it is required for TV sets on display or used for demonstration uses," the SABC said in a statement.

The SABC uses the monies from TV licenses to provide locally produced radio and television programmes in line with its public service mandate.