MultiChoice has welcomed the Constitutional Court’s order in favour of the decision made by former communications minister Faith Muthambi regarding no encryption in government set-top boxes.
“We trust this will pave the way for the long-awaited migration to digital terrestrial television,” said MultiChoice.
The set-top boxes in question will be manufactured locally and distributed to low-income households which cannot afford the converter needed to receive a digital TV signal.
South Africa’s digital migration calls for old analogue TV signals to be switched off, which means these families may have been left without access to TV channels.
“The policy of non-encryption will ensure that poor households benefit from and are included in the migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television and that taxpayers are spared millions of rand in unnecessary costs.”
MultiChoice said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s statement on the case allays any fears raised regarding the implications of the non-encryption policy.
None of the broadcasters, including free-to-air broadcasters, would be required to do any more than they have previously been required to do. Nor would any be deprived of any advantage or privilege currently enjoyed in relation to access to their viewership and profit-making opportunities.