GROWING RESISTANCE TO THE PAYMENT OF TELEVISION LICENSES.

Notwithstanding the overview and a number of pertinent aspects relating to the laws, reasons and arguments for the payment of a TV license, numerous calls and questions have arisen regarding the rationality and lawfulness of the enforcement around the payment of TV Licenses, specifically under current developments.

Some of the arguments / reasons provided for this growing resistance toward the payment of TV Licenses are as follows:-

  1. With the advent of new and modern streaming of shows, information and news, (such as Netflix and ShowMax, Internet), many people and businesses do not use TVs to display content received through traditional broadcast channels. However, these people are forced to pay for a TV license when purchasing a TV, merely because it has a tuner / broadcast receiver.
  2. Many TVs are purchased for business displays, presentations and customer communication purposes and are never used for the display of TV broadcast content.
  3. Television sets are also purchased to watch televised programs of entities other than that provided by the national broadcaster.
  4. There is a question of how much of the license revenues collected actually reaches the SABC or the operational area intended for. In other words, the administration cost of collection and the management of the TV License process is exorbitant and far to high to warrant it as effective and rational for its intent and purpose (research required here).
  5. The fact that the SABC policy changes, specifically related to censorship of news content relating to acts of property destruction as being unconstitutional, could be construed that the SABC is no longer fulfilling its mandate to the people.
  6. In light of the SABC managements recent conflict with and defiance of ICASA’s rulings on the censorship matter, the public may have the right to defy the laws for TV License payment in response to the SABC managements conduct in defiance of the regulator.

For these and possibly other reasons, just as it might have been in the past when radio, dog and bicycle licenses of yesteryear were rescinded, the validity and relevance of the current TV license may require a review or challenge of the laws surrounding this source of revenue / tax.

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