Government’s plan to migrate citizens from analogue to digital television is on track as a total of 572 255 beneficiary households have been migrated from the current total of 1 228 879.
Addressing a media briefing on Wednesday, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said government concluded the analogue Switch-off in the Free-State province at the end of October in accordance with the plan without any TV blackouts.
“This Friday, 26th November 2021, we will complete the switch-off of the last South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) analogue site in the Northern Cape in Upington and I will also visit some television receiving households. We are also on track to conclude the North West in line with the plan,” the Minister said.
In terms of analogue sites switch-off, Sentech has been able to switch off all (84 sites) Multichoice analogue transmissions, 113 out of 288 (40%) SABC analogue transmissions and 4 of the 95 (4%) eTV analogue transmissions.
“The past month was also used to ramp-up installer capacity in line with the Managed Integrated Model (MiM) as per the approved plan. Sentech’s installer capacity for the remaining provinces has been created, and this will intensify installations in following months in all remaining provinces,” Ntshavheni said.
While South Africa is shifting to digital, the Minister said government wants to ensure that it avoids the dumping of analogue televisions in South Africa.
“I am therefore in consultation with the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) to coordinate government’s approach on the non-proliferation of analogue TVs in the South African market.
“We have established and approved the after-market support strategy and plan. The objective of the aftermarket support is to ensure that registered households are supported in all languages during and after Set-Top Box (STB) installation process,” Ntshavheni said.
The existing Call Centre within Sentech will be transitioned to the After-Market Support Centre within the SABC.
The call centre is operational and can be contacted on 0860 736 832 and WhatsApp 0600 625 458.
“I have established a project steering committee that is made up of key stakeholders, and we continue to meet to review project progress and resolve on matters escalated by the project operations structure.
“The analogue switch-off (ASO) programme has been adequately resourced with human capacity and funding, and the governance structures continue to drive implementation in accordance with the approved plan,” the Minister said.
Public urged to migrate to digital television
The Minister has encouraged South African citizens who are still receiving television services directly from an Aerial/Antenna that are mounted on a pole and do not have set-top box or smart TV set, to find themselves a set-top box or a digital TV to be able to receive digital Television.
“You need a Set-Top box installed or digital television to migrate from analogue to digital. For the indigent households, government assistance is available through registration at your nearest post office or through the following link: www.stbregistration.gov.za as from Monday, 29 November 2021,” the Minister said.
The State Information Technology Agency (SITA) is finalising the registration link that can be used by those with USSD phone/ feature phone.
For the list of digital TVs, digital terrestrial television (DTT) compatible TVs and smart TV sets, citizens may call or WhatsApp the Call Centre on the numbers 0860 736 832 and WhatsApp 0600 625 458 or visit the websites of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies at www.dcdt.gov.za.
“The analogue switch-off messages continue to scroll on analogue TVs with applicable dates, please ensure that you migrate before the set dates so that you can continue to receive television services after the switch-off.
Remember that if you are already connected though the DSTV, OVHD, StarSat and Telkom One platform you will not be affected by the analogue switch-off. Should you not be eligible for government STB and still require migrating to digital, please liaise with above mentioned broadcaster and arrange you’re your digital installation,” the Minister said.