Well played SABC, you had me over a barrel

For months, I deleted TV Licence payment SMS messages sent my way while chuckling gleefully – but this week, the SABC had the final laugh.

I paid my TV Licence on Thursday. And not just the R265 annual fee, I paid the penalties, too, which saw the bill total R317.

The Staff Writer has fought the good fight against paying his TV Licence, despite threats of legal action, and has penned many pieces about why paying your TV Licence is a waste of time and money.

Unfortunately, the SABC dealt a killer blow which could not be evaded: requiring a TV Licence to buy a new TV.

I had to purchase a new TV this week and visited a local retailer to ensure I got the exact model I wanted.

When paying for the TV, I was told they needed to validate my TV Licence before I could be on my way.

I had forgotten about the licence requirement, and my only hope was that the SABC’s systems had incorrectly flagged me as a paid holder.

They hadn’t.

The retailer said my TV Licence had expired and I needed to renew it – and pay the associated penalties – if I wanted to take the TV home with me.

So I handed over my driver’s (for identification), asked him to add the TV Licence to the total bill, and I paid the R317.

What the SABC failed to do for over a year, a friendly salesman managed to complete in under two minutes.

Well played, SABC. You had me over a barrel and there was nothing I could do.

Ignoring an SMS and writing snarky comments about non-compliance is easy, but deciding between the moral high ground and taking home a new TV was not as simple.

Now read: Parliament adopts SABC interim board names in “unenviable task”

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Well played SABC, you had me over a barrel