Good news for TV licence defaulters
What may come as good news to TV licence defaulters is that the consortium (S.V. Mdladla and Datanet) has extended the grace period which was scheduled to elapse on November 30 to December 31.
The extension has been necessitated by the fact that the expiry for a TV licence, by law, is December 31 of that year of issuance.
This means that those who have not yet paid their television licence fees are off the hook temporarily, but they will be considered in arrears if they fail to pay before the end of the year and may face imprisonment.
The consortium aims to track, verify and encourage such people through its inspectors who have been deployed to go from door to door to ascertain whether a television set(s) is legally or illegally in the possession of an individual or a business entity. The consortium requested individuals and businesses to cooporate with the inspectors as they do their work.
Speaking on behalf of the consortium was the Project Coordinator Phumelele Dlamini who encouraged all those who own television sets to take advantage of the added time and pay in the interim.
She pointed out that it is the obligation of an individual and business entity to ensure that previous debts are settled as they pay for their TV licence.
She emphasised that the team was not only colleting tax for this year but even dating back to 2012. Dlamini said those who failed to pay within the amnesty period risked imprisonment of not more than a year, a fine of E500 or both and interest of 50 per cent.
“The consortium is observing an amnesty period which starts at the October 31. The amnesty period is a limited timeframe during which every television owner, dealer, trader, repairer is encouraged to voluntarily make payment of his or her TV licence.
The amnesty period deadline was to end on the November 30, 2017,” she said.
The coordinator said every television set owner, dealer, trader or repairer is encouraged to register and or renew their TV licence( s) December 31.
Dlamini said a TV licence for an individual costs E180 annually or E15 per month while a TV licence for business entities costs E300 annually. The coordinator said as per the Swaziland Television Authority Act of 1983 Sections 18 and 19 a person or business entity only becomes eligible for a TV license once they have paid the licence fee.
She pointed out that Section 18 with specific reference to television dealers’ states that the Authority may, subject to the approval of the minister, grant a licence to any person to deal in or trade, whether by way of sale, hire or otherwise, in television receivers, recorders, and other television equipment or accessories in Swaziland upon such terms and conditions as the board may determine, including fees therefor. by or before the
On another note she said there are systems that had been developed and are in use to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the collection of TV licence fees, and these systems allow for the capturing of citizens in possession of a television set(s) which helps create a comprehensive database.
“Different modes for paying exist for the convenience of individuals and business entities. These include being able to make electronic transfer of funds (EFT) to the television licence account held at Nedbank. Sending payment through MTN Mobile Money. Walkin payments over the counter at the nearest post office or Datanet offices situated next to t he Swazi Observer, Mbabane,” she added.
Project Coordinator Phumelele Dlamini.