Broadcast Regulation

South Africa: Govt. Takes Smartphones Off The TV Licence Liability List

In South Africa, The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) is to confirm that while its plan to further and expand changes to TV Licensing regime for the country, it has reached the determination that it will now not be including smartphones in the list of devices that would be liable for TV Licence.
Presenting its proposals around the subject earlier in the week to the South African parliament, the DCDT says its propositions emanated from aggregated stakeholder responses and will feature in its upcoming AudioVisual whitepaper - currently taking recommendations up until February 15th.
Recall that in South Africa, the current TV License position is that a licence is only required after a television set capable of receiving a broadcast signal has been purchased. The permit will be renewable every 12 months. Under lobby by the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), the government is now, however, intending to expand the liability to the purchase and use of other electronics, including tablets, decoders, set-top boxes, and computers with access to the Internet.
While the SABC had lobbied for, and the government has agreed to add Smartphones to the list of devices that will require a TV license, it now seems that the government is reneging on that front. However, it must be mentioned that the whitepaper position is on an official government policy.

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