A total of 9 002 poor TV-owning households in the Free State province have registered for government subsidised set-top boxes (STBs) since the registration drive commenced on 1 December 2016.
On Thursday, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and Free State Premier Ace Magashule will observe the installation of STBs at qualifying poor TV-owning households in Harrismith as part of the digital migration awareness campaign.
According to the Department of Communication’s Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) Management Office, the estimated number of qualifying households with functional TVs in the province is 356 547.
The department is working with the South African Post Office to reach communities and to distribute the subsidised STBs to qualifying households.
As part of its public awareness campaigns, the department has embarked on a door-to-door in the area, while also enlisting the support of traditional councils to encourage qualifying residents to register.
To qualify for the government subsidised STBs, households must be earning less than R3 200 per month.
Premier Magashule has been a strong supporter of the broadcasting digital migration in his province, encouraging people in public platforms to register for set-top boxes.
Minister Muthambi said: “It is encouraging to see the kind of support this project is receiving from the Premier and his provincial cabinet. This province has been at the forefront of driving public awareness around digital migration.”
DTT is a reliable and cost efficient means to distribute linear television content and has many advantages over the old analogue broadcasting that is still in use today.
Government has prioritised South African communities along the border-lying areas for the distribution of set-top boxes in order to mitigate any potential frequency spectrum interferences from neighbouring countries.