Communications minister Faith Muthambi was due to install the first batch of government-subsidised set-top boxes in Keimoes in the Northern Cape on Thursday.
Keimoes is located within the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) area, where the world’s largest radio telescope will be built.
More than 2 400 households in the Northern Cape SKA area have registered to receive government set-top boxes in line with government’s plan to provide 5m indigent homeowners in possession of TV sets with free decoders.
The registration process was kick-started by Muthambi at a public event in Keimoes in October 2015. Government will distribute 23 000 boxes free of charge to the community around the SKA area.
“The installation of government’s fully subsidised set-top boxes starts here in the SKA area. Television viewing experience will never be the same for many households here in the Northern Cape,” said Muthambi. “This progress marks a significant milestone of the broadcasting digital migration project.”
It is the first installation of set-top boxes in South Africa since the digital terrestrial television policy was gazetted in March 2015.
Towns around the SKA area include Brandvlei, Britstown, Calvinia, Carnavon, Fraserburg, Groblershoop, Kakamas, Keimoes, Kenhardt, Loeriesfontein, Marydale, Nieuwoudtville, Pofadder, Springbok, Sutherland, Vanwyksvlei, Victoria West and Williston.
The South African Post Office, which is the distributing agent for set-top boxes on behalf of government, will also be on site on the day to explain the process of registering TV households. — SAnews