Even parliamentarians must pay for TV

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Tjekero Tweya (right) enjoying the antics of Suta, the NBCs TV License mascot. The mascot visited Parliament last week to give MP’s a convenient opportunity to renew their TV licences and set an example for the nation at large. The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology is the national broadcaster’s line ministry.

The Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) used their new TV licence mascot, Suta, to drive home a powerful message that even parliamentarians must pay for TV.

“It is really good to bring services to the people, in this case, the lawmakers,” said Connie Ramatekoane, Supervisor TV Licence Inspections at nbc’s head office in Windhoek. The day before, on Thursday, 15 October 2015, the nbc’s TV Licence department had set up its mobile equipment at Parliament to enable Namibia’s policy makers to renew their TV licences on site conveniently and speedily. “The MPs have such busy schedules and so little time to make these payments,” Ramatekoane added. “And the response was overwhelming!”
The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Hon Tjekero Tweya came out in strong support also visiting the nbc’s mobile set-up. He said the funds raised from TV licences contribute to improve the operations and programming of the corporation. He noted that lawmakers should lead by example by ensuring that they obey all laws of the country.
“We would like to thank the many Members of Parliament who made use of this opportunity to renew their licences. Our collections on that day far exceeded our expectations. The support and feedback we received from the Honourables was fantastic,” said Stanley Similo, the nbc’s new Director General. “It was very encouraging to see how much the lawmakers appreciated the hard work and dedication of the TV Licence staff.”
The TV Licence department will be conducting two major road shows during the next three weeks. One road show will cover the towns Otavi, Tsumeb, Grootfontein, Katima Mulilo and Rundu. The second road show will focus on Omaruru, Karibib, Usakos, Arandis, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Walvis Bay. At the same time, mobile teams will be dispatched to shopping centres and the Government Office Park in Windhoek.
“The mobile teams will operate from 09:00 to 18:00 hours on weekdays and from 09:00 to 14:00 on weekends,” explained Ramatekoane. “The detailed schedule will be broadcast on nbc Radio and TV. The mobile teams will be able to answer any TV licence related questions and they will also offer card-swiping facilities.”
The nbc relies on the payment of TV licences to supplement its own income-generating activities, which range from the rental of transmitters to the selling of air time on nbc TV and Radio. “For us the collection of TV licence fees is crucial,” concluded Michaela Jaeger, the newly appointed Head: TV Licence. “The more income we can generate through our own efforts, the more we can reduce the burden we place on the State. Currently, we rely to a large extent on the subsidy we receive from the Government. If we can collect more money through TV licences, the government can use part of the subsidy to finance other important projects and programmes.”