How to cancel and stop paying your TV licence

The SABC is in the news for all the wrong reasons: a COO without a matric, making massive losses, censoring content and political parties, and ignoring an order from ICASA.

Many South Africans own television sets, but don’t use them to watch SABC channels or receive a broadcast television signal.

With the growth of fast, uncapped broadband in South Africa, many South Africans have moved to streaming services like Netflix and ShowMax to serve their entertainment needs.

This raises the question: Do they need a TV licence?

The answer is no. Detailed below is when and how you can cancel your TV licence.

Who needs a TV licence?

In terms of the Broadcasting Act, No 4 of 1999, any person that has possession or uses a TV set must have a TV licence. Even if the TV set is not used, you need a licence.

A TV set is any device designed or adapted to be capable of receiving a broadcast television signal.

Removing your TV’s tuner

To remove the need to pay your TV licence, you cannot own a device which can receive a broadcast television signal. This includes a decoder or a TV set.

To render your TV incapable of receiving a broadcast signal, you need to remove its TV tuner.

This needs to be done by a professional, and needs to be checked by an SABC inspector – who charges R300.

You then have to send proof to the SABC every year that your TV cannot receive a signal. If an inspector comes to check, you pay an additional R300.

Disposing of your TV set

If you have sold, disposed of, or lost your television, you are no longer required to have a TV licence.

The SABC must be notified on a prescribed form (affidavit) of the changed circumstances.

It should be noted that a TV licence cannot be cancelled while there is money outstanding on an account.

The form to cancel your TV licence

To cancel your TV licence, you need a signed affidavit – using a form supplied by the SABC. Here is the form you must complete to cancel your TV licence.

TV license cancellation form

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How to cancel and stop paying your TV licence