Why the SABC wants a TV Licence for smartphones

“It is wrong for anyone to think we are trying to augment our finances by making people pay for buying cellphones,” SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told MyBroadband.

Kganyago was responding to questions regarding a request from SABC CEO James Aguma to Parliament that the Broadcasting Act be changed so TV Licence fees may be collected on more viewing devices.

Aguma said the Act requires people to pay a TV Licence for a device which can receive a TV signal, but argued that more people are watching TV on devices such as computers, tablets, and cellphones.

The request does not necessarily mean users must have a TV Licence before they can buy a computing device, said Kganyago.

Kganyago said Aguma was merely stating that if you watch “TV” on something other than a device with a normal TV signal receiver, you should pay for a licence.

“If you go to the Broadcasting Act, it defines what a TV set is,” said Kganyago.

“At the moment we are proposing that the definition of a TV set be amended to go with the times.”

Besides this, the SABC has not asked for any particular regulations or enforcement methods to be created alongside the requested changes to the Broadcasting Act.

Kganyago said this is only a request to Parliament – nothing may come of it. If a decision is made to amend the Broadcasting Act, only then will the SABC decide on how to proceed.

He said if the request to change the Act is accepted, regulations will have to be created.

“That’s where all those nitty-gritties will be dealt with,” said Kganyago.

Now read: DStv must collect TV Licence fees for us – SABC

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Why the SABC wants a TV Licence for smartphones