Do students need a TV Licence?

In South Africa, the Broadcasting Act of 1999 requires anyone who has in their possession or uses a television set to have a valid television licence. This applies to all individuals, including students. However, there are a few exceptions.

  • Public schools: Public schools are the only educational institutions that are exempt from the legal requirement of having a television licence.
  • Television sets that have been “denatured”:If one’s television equipment (TV set and VCR) has been “denatured” by having the receiving capability (signal receiver or “tuner”) removed, a television licence is not required.

In the case of students, it is important to check the specific rules of the institution they attend. Some universities and tertiary educational institutions may require students to have a television licence, even though they are not legally required to do so. It is always better to err on the side of caution and purchase a television licence if there is any doubt.

The cost of a television licence in South Africa is R265 per year or R28 per month. The licence is valid for one year and must be renewed before it expires. There are a number of payment options available, including online payments, debit orders, and payments at Post Offices and retail outlets.

Failure to comply with the television licence requirements can result in fines of up to R500 or imprisonment for up to six months. It is therefore important to ensure that you have a valid television licence if you possess or use a television set in South Africa.