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Former Wits SRC President Mcebo Dlamini. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Digital TV's SOS will benefit poorest

By unknown | Aug 11, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Millions of poor households will be subsidised by the government under a multi-billion rand scheme when the country switches from the analogue to a digital broadcasting system.

In terms of the schemefor-ownership-support (SOS) a 70percent incentive will be offered to the five million poorest households for the three-year dual illumination to get set-top boxes (STBs) that convert an analogue signal into a digital signal.

The government scheme, which was approved by the cabinet last Wednesday as part of the Digital Migration Policy for South Africa, will cost R2,45 billion.

Communications Ministry Spokesman Joe Makhafola said that in order to receive the digital signal on analogue TV sets households would have to use the STBs. The migration would enable a more efficient use of the radio frequency spectrum as well as improved quality pictures and sound.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko, pictured, told journalists on Thursday that the new digital signal would be switched on at the beginning of November this year and the analogue signal switched off in November 2011. The new system would not only provide efficient digital signals but its STBs have been designed to deliver e-government services directly to people in the country.

Maseko said the department would develop a way to dispose of existing television sets in preparation for the switch-off.


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