People without a valid license targeted

JOHANNESBURG — The South African Broadcasting Corp. is using a sophisticated GPS mapping system to track down TV license fee defaulters.

Anton Heunis, head of the audience services division of the pubcaster, warned that by law anyone with TV sets, computers fitted with a TV tuner or video card, TV sets in vehicles, caravans and mobile homes had to buy a license, even if they did not watch SABC channels.

“By using a GPS mapping system, our teams will be able to identify households and businesses which, according to the SABC TV license database, are not in possession of a valid license. The team can overlay the TV license database over the suburb/area map and establish exactly which households have TV licenses and which don’t. They will then also know which households to visit — it’s indicated on the map with specific codes.”

The SABC receives 20% of its funding from TV license fees, set at 225 rand ($32) a year. Defaulters who are caught are fined an additional $65.

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