Citizens encouraged to register for subsidised decoders

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Households qualifying to receive government-subsidised decoders in the Free State and North West provinces have until the end of March 2018 to register for these devices, says the Department of Communications.

“The analogue signal will be permanently switched off in June 2019 and people will need decoders to watch television,” the department said on Tuesday.

This initiative forms part of the department’s Broadcasting Digital Migration project. The department has been tasked with rolling out a process of migrating all South African households to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

This process of migration is a government initiative and will allow users to experience the many benefits of digital television, which include clearer pictures and sound, as well as more channels to choose from.

“Government has since last year been distributing free decoders to families that cannot afford commercial devices.

“However, households that fail to register and receive these decoders will lose access to television services,” the department said.

Television viewing households, who subscribe to pay-tv channels, will face no signal disruptions as these services are already in the digital decoders that they have.

“Families earning below R3 200 qualify to receive the government-subsidised decoders. Qualifying households are therefore invited to register at their nearest Post Office. The registration deadline is 31 March 2018 for the Free State and North West provinces,” the department said.

Households who don’t qualify to get digitally-enabled TV sets have been encouraged to ensure that when they purchase a TV set, it has a digital turner.

Officials from the Department of Communications are currently visiting various municipality districts in the North West province to register and install government subsidised decoders to qualifying households.

“This move is aimed at accelerating the installation of decoders, with a view of completing the installations to qualifying households in the both Free State and North West Province.

“The registration and installation teams will adopt a phased approach that will see them going through all the district municipalities in the province,” the department said.

The department has also enlisted the support of provincial and local governments to encourage qualifying residents to register for the government-subsidised decoders.             

The Department of Communications is working with the South African Post Office to reach communities and distribute the subsidised television decoders to qualifying households. –