You’ll soon need a TV licence to buy a laptop, tablet or use the internet

TV Licence
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During its presentation to parliament this week, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies said it plans to push forward with amendments to TV licence laws in South Africa in order to broaden the definition of broadcasting devices.

Under the current defined laws, a TV licence is valid for twelve months and having one is mandatory when purchasing a television that is capable of receiving a broadcast signal.

Under the new proposed amendments, a TV licence will also be mandatory when purchasing other electronic devices and services. Devices being considered under the new amendments will include:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • IPTV
  • Internet
  • Decoders
  • Set-top boxes

“Issues raised in the draft white paper will broaden the television access definitions, and will strengthen enforcement issues, ” the Department said during its presentation.

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Smartphones were previously mentioned by the Department as one of the devices which will require a TV licence. However, smartphones were not listed in the proposed amendments, with the department now saying that ‘nowhere would people using mobile phones be charged’.

Government is also considering requiring a TV licence for streaming services such as Netflix.

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