Demand for government subsidised set-top boxes

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Pretoria - A total of 36 042 households across the country have registered for the government subsidised set-top-boxes (STBs).

This a sharp increase as only 11 709 registrations were captured for January.

“It is encouraging to see the growth in demand. The increase in registrations is a strong indication of the success of the migration project,” said Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Thursday.

“Awareness is growing day by day and people appreciate the tangible benefits that come with this process,” she said.

The Minister attributed the increase in demand to the work of the officials from the Department of Communications and the South African Post Office, who have been criss-crossing the country to raise awareness of digital migration.

Government has committed to providing five million indigent homeowners - in possession of TV sets - with STBs which convert broadcasting signal from analogue to digital. South African households with a combined income of R3 200 or less are eligible for a subsidised set-top box.

To register, applicants have go to the South African Post Office‚ and need the following documents: SA identity document‚ proof of residence‚ proof of possessing a TV set‚ and proof of household income below R3 200 per month.

The Department of Communications is making inroads in handing out STBs, with the Northern Cape and Free State provinces already having gone through a set-top box installation phase.

This month, the installation of set-top boxes will resume in other border-lying provinces such as Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.  

So far, a total of 18 analogue transmitters have been switched-off since October last year in the area surrounding the Square Kilometre Array in the Northern Cape. South Africa is joining the global community in migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting.

“Digital terrestrial television services provide us with a rich opportunity to realise the vision of building a people-centred and inclusive information society,” Minister Muthambi said. -