The SABC wants people to pay a computer, tablet and smartphone TV license

2 min read


You know what’s great about local TV these days? That you don’t actually have to ever bother watching it. I’m all for supporting talent that I like, and lately, that talent isn’t locked to an SABC contract or an analogue broadcast signal. It’s a feeling that a lot of people locally probably concur with, as the best entertainment around is found on YouTube, Twitch and several other streaming platforms.

Even better, that content can easily be accessed from tablets, laptops and smartphones. Devices which the SABC think should be regulated further, in the form of an additional TV license. That’s the word from parliament via Channel24 this week, as SABC CEO James Aguma described plans to petition the government to change the Broadcasting Act so that a mandatory TV license for such devices could be implemented nationally.

This all comes at a time when the SABC is, as some experts would call it, financially f***ed more than a coma patient in a UFC cage fight. Previous COO Hlaudi Motosonoeng’s disastrous policies have left the public broadcaster cash-strapped and in disarray, with the SABC interim board fingering video on demand and streaming content through other devices as one of the reasons for the internal crisis developing there.

According to Aguma, broadening the powers of the Broadcast Act would allow them to recoup lost revenue and result in a more stable income for the beleaguered public broadcaster. According to everyone else, doing that would result in a collective national middle finger that could be seen from space. Good luck trying to enforce that idea, SABC.

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Last Updated: May 10, 2017

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • I thought this was satire, either way had a good laugh 😀

    • It’d be easy to assume satire – but this is the sort of stuff you couldn’t make up.

      • Original Heretic

        And if you did make it up, people wouldn’t believe it.

        Biggest difference between writing fact and fiction? The fiction has to be believable!

  • TJames47
    • Hammersteyn

      I like this gif, because it feels like SABC is showing us content as old as the Trojan war

  • Christopher

    But the SABC doesn’t supply any “services” for those devices :/

    • Gardos

      I’d KIND OF understand where they’re coming from if they had a service like BBC iPlayer. Then people would be consuming content on those devices, fair enough to put forth that argument. But we don’t even get the SABC channels on DStv’s app so their argument makes no sense.

  • Hammersteyn
    • TJames47

      Geez that is somewhat unsettling.

    • For the Emperor!

      Drax is awesome in GotG Vol 2!

  • Hammersteyn
  • Hammersteyn

    Best part is, I’m 7 months behind on my TV license

    • what is this, license?

      • Hammersteyn

        Apparently it’s something I still need to pay? I dunno… will wait for the legal documents, fuck em

      • miaau

        Try and buy a new TV. That is where they get you

    • MonsterCheddar

      I don’t even have one. Fuck ’em.

      • Hammersteyn

        I was stupid enough when I was younger, doing things by the book, but now that the beast is wounded………

    • Admiral Chief

      Amateur, I’m on 24

      • Hammersteyn


    • miaau

      I pay mine. I understand the costs and licensing for the bands used, the Icasa stuff and all that. It is not just a SABC licence, also for radio stuff. That is why I pay it.

      It does piss me off that I think it is wasteful, but it is like R265 or something a year, does not break the piggy bank. I listen to radio in car, I figure some small percentage of that money goes into keeping the radio waves regulated.

      • Hammersteyn

        It does go into radio, but I think even more goes into the heads of SABC’s pockets, besides, I listen mostly to mp3s…. oh crap, they don’t know about mp3s, they’re probably gonna want to license that to 🙁

      • HvR

        Nope zero of it goes to ICASA and regulations.

        Each telecoms company (ISP, radio stations, VOIP providers, WISP, radio operators etc) pay ICASA a licence fee based on their annual revenue.

        • miaau

          yeah, that is true, we (company and personal) pay Icasa each year, for example for the alarm station.

          I do remember that the fee is supposed to be split between various entities and I seem to recall Icasa was one of them

  • Original Heretic

    Like the way you put that, D. “..collective national middle finger that could be seen from space.” Bwahahaah! So accurate!

    • Hammersteyn

      “financially f***ed more than a coma patient in a UFC cage fight”

  • Hammersteyn

    I wish Mantis could tell us what James Aguma is feeling

  • Gary Johns

    …The sad part is – this will prolly get passed by parliament – not to mention we are already paying stupid “luxury” taxes on all sorts of things to “protect” local industries

  • Umar

    Would things like consoles and media devices be considered for the same fee, as you can basically use it for streaming as well.

    • Spathi


    • Christopher

      Those devices get connected to TVs though so we’d be paying twice for not using their services if that is the case.

    • miaau

      They define a TV somewhere as having the TV tuner electronic parts, so years ago, technically, computers with TV cards (PCI cards) should have merit paying a TV license.

      So,your consoles, right now, are safe.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor
    • Hammersteyn


    • MonsterCheddar


    • Look at you! using memes like a millennial xD

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Yoh. That’s uncalled for. Why are we getting so personal? :/

        • miaau

          Can it be both personal and DAMN funny?

          I think it can. What do you think about that?

          • Oh no. It was personal alright xD

          • miaau

            Yes, yes. but funny too

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t think, I only react.

          • For every Trevor reaction there is an equal and opposite pun.

  • Unavengedavo
  • For the Emperor!

    That would be the fastest way to get people to move back to Feature Phones…or yeah, just say screw it you a-holes I ain’t paying nothing to you mother forklifts!

  • Hammersteyn

    They should just close shop already, the people who pays their licenses hardly watches their shit and the people who don’t do.

  • MonsterCheddar

    Hello SABC…You can fuck right off thank you. Buncha Twats.

  • Magoo

    Some organisations innovate when they are falling behind. Some up their prices. SABC is innovating by putting a price on using alternative sources of media.

  • DragonSpirit009

    I guess someone sniffed a whole lot of stupid again!

  • Guild

    If people were watching SABC on their devices then I might agree with this but no. No one watches SABC. Only way I can see this being enforced is same process is applied with purchasing a TV, provide license as proof to buy which is annoying as hell. I stream everything now.

  • BakedBagel

    inb4 the mssa requires you to have a fully paid up to date TV license

  • miaau

    who will this target? As I understand it, you will still pay standard licence fees.

    If you have a car radio you need to pay, for example. Not looking at the non-payers and stuff, assuming legal usage.

    So, they are now targeting people that do not already have TV, car radio, radios or any other form of radio wave catching stuff OTHER than a smartphone?

    • BakedBagel

      This will target anyone who consumes media using almost any device.
      Regardless of device.

      Watching them try to enforce this is gonna be laughable.

      What about PC’s used purely for servers? They gonna tax those too?

  • Craig “CrAiGiSh” Dodd

    Fuck off …

  • HvR

    Hlaudi gets an upvote
    Aguma gets an upvote

  • Graeme Selvan

    What a LOL

  • Avithar

    highest level of education for this guy?

    • BakedBagel

      University of Cape Town
      Cape Town, South Africa | 1998 – 1998
      Post Grad Diploma – Accounting

      University of Cape Town
      Cape Town, South Africa | 1996 – 1997
      Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) – Accounting

      Makerere University
      1988 – 1991
      Bachelor of Commerce – B.Com.
      Marketing/Marketing Management, Hons, 2.1

      • Avithar

        very highly educated… but eish he really put his foot in it on this 1

        • BakedBagel

          That sweet sweet tax payer money definitely influenced their statement Lmao

  • Let me just see if I have this straight… If I have a TV I must pay a license even though I haven’t plugged anything other than game consoles into it for 4 years…

    Now I need to pay the same SABC that hasn’t shown anything worth watching in 4 years a SECOND license if I own wither a phone or a PC? A TV license for owning a PC? Seriously? A PC License? OMG!

    I can’t comment or ask a question because I am still speechless. Still trying to wrap my head around that statement…

  • and you know what? Like any government linked institute it will be passed.

    Proof? Eskom. Every time they pay gazillions of Rands in bonuses and claim they need to recoup financial losses guess what… It’s approved.

  • Jim of the Banana

    Lmao! Nope, not paying a cent Sabc.

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