Good news for TV li­cence de­fault­ers

Sunday Observer - - NEWS - BY ZWELETHU DLAMINI En­cour­age Note

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.

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