According to Stefanie Fick, executive director of the accountability division at the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), failure to pay your TV licence could harm your credit score.
According to “MyBroadband” their reader who had been informed by the SABC that he was handed over to the TV Licence debt collection agency for being two months behind on his TV licence payment.
This made him worry that he could be blacklisted by the SABC or have his credit record impacted negatively.
Fick said that the SABC was not a credit provider, as credit required money to be borrowed and paid back over time.
By contrast, TV licences were paid upfront – either on an annual or monthly basis.
This means the SABC is not able to list a consumer as defaulting on a credit commitment, which banks or retailers could do.
“Non-payment of your TV licence is not credit provided by the SABC, it is more like a tax,” Fick said.
Therefore, the initial failure to pay your TV licence would have no bearing on your credit score.
However, matters could change if you remained defiant while you were in the possession of a TV.
Fick said if the SABC obtained a court order or default judgment against you for outstanding payments, your credit record could take a hit.
For this, it would have to institute formal legal proceedings, including issuing you with a court summons.
In addition, Fick said that the Broadcasting Act determined that any person who was found guilty of contravening or failing to comply with the TV licence requirement could be fined up to a maximum of R500 and/or to imprisonment for a period of up to six months.
According to credit agency Transunion, a judgment remains on your credit record for 5 years or until it is paid in full, or a rescission is granted by the courts.