For many, a TV licence is like a parking ticket or an E-Toll.
In other words, something they just don’t bother paying.
There’s also the moral argument of why we should support an institution that allowed Hlaudi Motsoeneng (he of the terrifying manifesto video) to run it into the ground, stiffing producers and relying on public handouts to survive.
On the off chance that you want to go about not paying your licence the right (legal) way, MyBroadband has a good step-by-step account of how to do so, having recounted the long-winded experience of a reader.
Given that it requires a fair amount of effort on your part, whether or not you bother is your call to make:
Technically, you should be able to cancel your TV licence for a number of reasons, including storing your TV away for an extended period of time or travelling overseas for more than 12 months.
However, judging from the aforementioned reader’s experience in cancellation, it could prove difficult to cancel your TV licence unless you plan to leave the country permanently.
Why did you flee the country? Well, the breaking point was my bloody SABC TV licence.
Before we go any further, let’s clear up who exactly requires a licence. This info is from The Lowvelder:
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 will 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.
A TV set is any device designed or adapted to be capable of receiving a broadcast television signal.
Cost-wise, here’s what you’re looking at, according to the SABC’s TV Licence website:
Let’s get down to business.
Once you have requested a cancellation (you can attempt this by sending a mail to email@example.com), you will then be required to dance through some hoops:
In reply to your request, the SABC should send a letter stating the requirements for cancellation. The SABC requires the following documentation to process a TV licence holder’s cancellation:
- If exemption from licence payment is requested due to travelling overseas, travel documents detailing a sojourn of more than 12 months abroad are required.
- Storage of the user’s television is accepted as grounds for cancellation, as long as the licence holder submits proof that the TV is stored with a removals or storage company.
- In the case of emigration, the licence holder is required to submit travel and emigration documents, such as an airline ticket and overseas work permit.
- If the television set has been sold to a new owner, the details of the new TV owner must be provided along with the other documentation.
You will also be required to send this through to the SABC, either via fax or email:
To be frank, at this point I’m basically giving up, but more power to those who want to follow through.
Selecting the third option above would seem to be simple enough, but nothing is ever simple. You can read this account for another lesson in the wonders of government bureaucracy.
Failing all of this, one guy in the comments section has a seemingly tried and tested approach:
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