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Manufacturing Of Set-Top Boxes Underway In South Africa – To Be Distributed To The Poor

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: ZAgov}

South Africa


Thabazimbi The process of manufacturing the five million set-top boxes (STBs) which government will distribute to poorer households is underway.



Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) programme manager Dr Fhatuwani Mutuvhi said the process was underway following the appointment of manufacturers by the Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA).

“The South African Post Office will start with the registration process of poor tv-owning households in the Northern Cape next month in October and this will be followed by the registration in the border-lying areas across the country including Skelpadnest in Thabazimbi,” said Mutuvhi.

Mutuvhi was speaking at a DTT community outreach programme and Imbizo in Thabazimbi, Limpopo led by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi on Saturday.

Digital migration refers to the switch from an analogue broadcasting system to a digital broadcasting system.

In order to view digital television signals on an ordinary analogue television set, consumers will need a STB. The purpose of the STBs is to convert the digital signal for reception on an ordinary analogue television set.

If consumers have not acquired a set-top box by the time the country switches to digital broadcasting, they will no longer be able to view the existing terrestrial television broadcasting services.

The Minister visited the area to raise awareness about the DTT programme.

Upon her arrival at the settlement which situated in a mining area, Minister Muthambi embarked on a door-to-door visit to assess service delivery.

Community members said they were excited about her visit but raised pressing issues regarding the delivery of services such as electricity, water and sanitation, roads and housing.

Residents use paraffin stoves to cook and use solar power and generators to watch tv because there is no electricity in the village.

Minister Muthambi told residents she would escalate their service delivery grievances to the relevant government departments.

Sinethemba Victor Booi, who is from the Eastern Cape and works at the Anglo-Platinum mine, told SAnews he was not aware of the country’s move towards digital broadcasting. He hoped government would also work on bringing water and sanitation services to the area.

“We really thank the department for coming and educating us about digital migration.”

Benjamin Morare said he attended the Imbizo to get more information about DTT and how it will work.

“However, our main challenge is that we don’t have electricity … but I’m of the view that now that Minister Muthambi will be rolling out digital migration in the area, we will get more services such as electricity and housing.”

Phethang Ntjana said he believed it would create jobs for himself and other unemployed residents. “It’s good when government leaders come to educate us about all these new developments.”

A leader in the community, Schalk Ntshole, said: “We have nothing here in terms of basic services, but I want to commend the department for visiting our area to share with us the opportunities coming with this digital television revolution and I’m pleading for the Thabazimbi municipality to electrify our village before the rolling out of the digital migration project.” –


[photo credits: “Mountains outside Thabazimbi” by Tiaan – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –]



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