Photo: Unsplash

Govt reveals TV licences ‘may be scrapped’ for these South Africans

Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has hinted that ‘two main categories of South Africans’ could soon avoid paying for the TV licences.


Photo: Unsplash

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has confirmed that the TV licence requirement could be removed for certain members of society in South Africa, saving some vulnerable citizens hundreds of rand in the process.

‘Payment relief’ suggested by minister

Responding to a written Parliamentary question this week, Ndabeni-Abrahams said that ‘it will be worthy’ to consider which South Africans should get an exemption from the payments:

“The department will, in due course, be consulting on the Draft White Paper Audio and Audiovisual Content Services Policy Framework: A New Vision for South Africa.”

“It will be worthy to consider the category of individuals and institutions that should be considered for such a relief. As indicated above, this requires discussions and will be raised during public consultations.”

Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

Which South Africans could be considered for a TV licence exemption?

Ndabeni-Abrahams also explained who will make the final decision – and what members of society could be exempt from paying for their TV licences.

  • Despite leading the white paper consultation, the collection of television licence fees ‘is the responsibility of the SABC’.
  • The government’s communication department remains neutral in this situation, as SABC ‘have not engaged them’ yet.
  • Ndabeni-Abrahams has suggested that ‘pensioners and war veterans’ could have their TV licence requirements scrapped.

What does a TV licence cost in South Africa?

First-time applicants for a television licence must pay the full annual fee of R265. All renewals must be made annually before the licence expires after 12 months, and these payments can be spread throughout the year at R28 per month. However, monthly payments are subject to a small premium for the convenience, bring the total cost for the year to R336.

However, discussions about which members of society should be exempt from these payments have been prevalent over the past few years. With any new decision looking likely to benefit the elderly and our ex-service personnel, it’s hard to disagree that this would be a step in the right direction for licencing laws in SA.