SABC's pestering TV licence debt collection SMSes

Daniel Puchert

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SABC's threatening TV licence SMSes

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) can legally send as many debt collection SMSes as it deems necessary without breaching South Africa's harassment laws, Barnard Incorporated Attorneys senior associate Anneke Lotter said.

After a MyBroadband reader received multiple debt collection messages relating to TV licence fees in a single day, we asked the law firm if this could amount to harassment.
 
SABC's threatening TV licence SMSes

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) can legally send as many debt collection SMSes as it deems necessary without breaching South Africa's harassment laws, Barnard Incorporated Attorneys senior associate Anneke Lotter said.

After a MyBroadband reader received multiple debt collection messages relating to TV licence fees in a single day, we asked the law firm if this could amount to harassment.

Yeah of course they can send as many as they want, and thats all good.. trains the algorithms so more of them end up being marked as spam.
 
Strangely ours stopped months ago.

Anyway, it's mostly third party collectors doing that isn't it? Didn't SABC itself give up?
 
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@mylesillidge, you should have asked a follow up question:

What about if you keep getting SMSs about it from a collector and you have informed them you are not the person they are looking for and that they should stop sending them, is that harassment?

I would 100% say that is harassment at that point yes.
 
Don't deal with the debt collectors.

What is the penalty for TV Licence in South Africa?


Forgetting to renew your TV licence means a penalty of 10% per month to a maximum of 100% per annum. So, paying by annual debit order is the most convenient way to ensure that this never happens.
 
How are people able to buy new TV's without a license or do they get their friends with a valid licence to buy it for them?
 
What is the penalty for TV Licence in South Africa?

Forgetting to renew your TV licence means a penalty of 10% per month to a maximum of 100% per annum. So, paying by annual debit order is the most convenient way to ensure that this never happens.

Completely illegal interest rates.
 
Would be an interesting test case in court, some people delayed paying due to lack of earnings.
Anyway, I'm sure it's one of the things that tripped them up when peeps first stopped paying.

Wouldn't be a test case in court, its not interest its a penalty.
 
Except it's not a tax, it's a license.

Wasn't maybe making it a tax a later consideration though?

Except its a legislated "license" to own a TV or other broadcast receiving equipment and you are legally mandated to pay it, therefore it is akin to a tax since you pay the government for it.
 
Except it's not a tax, it's a license.

Wasn't maybe making it a tax a later consideration though?

Next thing you're gonna say at vehicle license disk is not a tax. A rose by any other name...

If they actually did something during the renewal, like a roadworthy inspection (similar to eye test for drivers license renewal), then yes, I'd agree it is a license.
 
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