Lusikisiki joins digital migration wave

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pretoria - Residents of Makwalweni village in Lusikisiki on Thursday joined the digital migration movement when the Department of Communications led a public awareness campaign in the Eastern Cape. 

The digital terrestrial television (DTT) public awareness visit to the surrounding villages in Lusikisiki came ahead of the Siyahlola Presidential Monitoring visit to the area, which will take place on Saturday. 

Currently in the Eastern Cape, the distribution and installation of set-top boxes (STBs) is standing at 22% of the registered households. 

A STB is a decoder that converts digital broadcasting signals so they can be viewed on an ordinary analogue television. In South Africa, government has committed to giving five million indigent households STBs so they are not left out as the country switches to digital broadcasting. 

The DTT awareness campaign, where communities are registered for and receive STBs, has been going on for some time. The Department of Communications (DOC) has prioritized border-lying communities to minimise signal interference from neighbouring countries. 

The campaign has taken place in a number of provinces including the Free State, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Most notably, it has been rolled out in the Northern Cape, which is home to the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) site. Once completed, the SKA, which will be co-located in Africa and in Australia, is set to be the world’s largest telescope, with unprecedented scope in observations. 

The communities of Carnarvon, Vanwyksvlei, Brandvlei, Vosburg and Williston in the Northern Cape have, under the campaign, successfully migrated to digital broadcasting. 

The public awareness campaign in Lusikisiki was led by DOC Acting Director General Basani Baloyi, together with departmental officials. 

The number of households who qualify for STBs in the Eastern Cape is 560 504. On average, over 2 100 STB registrations are processed in the Eastern Cape. 

To qualify for a STB, a households must be earning less than R3 200 a month. 

The DOC is working together with the South African Post Office to reach communities to promote public awareness for qualifying households. Additional information is available at all Post Office centres nationwide. – SAnews.gov.za

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