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South Africans in Germany

Television Licence (der Rundfunkbeitrag/GEZ-Gebühr)

The first thing you are likely to get in your new mailbox after registering at the Bürgeramt is a reminder to pay your TV & radio broadcasting fees.
The 2023 fees are €18.36 per month and can be paid quarterly  (€55.08) or €220.32 per year
The fee is mandatory.  
Every household in Germany has to pay the fee even if you do not own a TV or radio. It does not matter if you have subscriptions to Sky, Netflix etc.

You can apply for an exemption or a reduction.
When you rent a place where it is included in the price (always ask!!!), or your flatmate is already paying, you have to let the GEZ know that someone else is paying on your behalf.
You can find the form on this site

You can also find more information on the official website, it is only available in German.

Please inform yourself about broadcasting rules and copyrights governed by GEMA. and the following warning about using VPN’s.  


VPN’s are legal in Germany, but infringing on copyright and accessing content that should not be available can result in legal action.
Copyrights are governed by GEMA – “The Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte (GEMA; English: Society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights) is a government-mandated collecting society and performance rights organization based in Germany.”

Basically this means if you want to watch a South African program but it has no license to air in Germany, and GEMA does not earn their fees, it would be considered illegal to watch it in Germany.
So although it is possible to watch DStv in Germany via a VPN, it is not recommended.

Downloading Movies, Music and other media

Watching movies via the Internet or downloading songs is often prohibited. Many online file-sharing services are illegal. German laws are strict about this. 
Please inform yourself about what is allowed and what the penalties are for not adhering to the rules

  • Article from Deutsche Welle – Warning on illegal downloads
  • Information from the European Consumer Centre can be found here

German Television

  • You can find a list of German state-operated television stations here.
  • Your bouquet will depend on your internet service provider for example this list from Vodafone

Pay Television

  • Sky
  • Sony, this channel can also be added to your Amazon prime account
  • Disney

Streaming Services

Streaming is legal in Germany as long as the service provider follows the correct copyright rules. 
Torrenting is illegal in Germany. 
Here are som legal suggestions:

  • Netflix
  • Joyn – Joyn GmbH (previously 7TV Joint Venture GmbH) is a German joint venture of the media groups ProSiebenSat.1 Media and Discovery, which deals with streaming media products. Among other things, it operates the Joyn streaming platform of the same name, the Maxdome Store pay-per-view service and the Eurosport Player sports streaming service. 
  • Amazon Prime
  • Magenta TV
  • Showmax – South African content

You can read more about streaming on the European Consumer Centre Germany  – and download their English Safer-Streaming-EN.pdf file

Related content

Radio Stations and Playlists

Most South African radio stations have a streaming option, another option is to download apps with a selection of radio stations. Here are some suggestions

Streaming South African content

Your best option to legally watch South African products is to get a subscription to Showmax or Netflix.  Showmax Unfortunately Showmax will only be available