Have you applied for a decoder yet?

South Africa’s digital migration has been delayed for more than a decade, a process seen as a key digital transformation step that will redefine the trajectory of South Africa’s information and communications technology.

One of the things causing the delays has been organisations arguing that the switch-off will cause indigent households to not have access to information. The final date of the analogue switch-off has yet to be determined after the court overturned the switch-off deadline of 30 June 2022.

South Africa belongs to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) which determined in 2006 that all ITU members in Africa, Europe and Middle East must make the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting systems by 2015.

During that time, the Minister of Communications issued a Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy, which stated that the analogue switch-off would take place on November 1, 2011.

Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni announced the 30 September 2022 as the final date for applications of government subsidised Set-Top Boxes (STB).

“The total number of new registered households between April 2022 and July 2022 now stands at 61,155 and this translates to an average of 15,288 registrations per month, therefore representing a decline in STB applications and registrations,” said Ntshavheni.

Ntshavheni said they have approximately 244 000 installations to complete. She said they have teams across all provinces doing community activations to educate people about Digital migration, Drive registrations and STB installations.

Social grant recipients and households with incomes less than R3200 per month will be subsidised by the government. A working TV set and a television license are also required. The subsidy is available to such households only if they register at their nearest Post Office. The decoder or STB must be purchased by households earning more than R3200 per month.

The following documentation must be presented at their nearest Post Office branch as soon as possible by beneficiaries who qualify:

• A South African identity document

• Proof of address

• An affidavit to confirm that the family has a working television set

• A bank statement or affidavit to confirm that the family income is R3500 per month or less. If you receive a SASSA grant, you do not need to bring proof of income.

To confirm their residential address and to declare their income, Post Office branches offer standard affidavits that applicants can use.

Only digital television transmissions will be broadcast after the analogue signal is turned off. Unless a decoder is connected to an analogue television set, it will not work.