Free digital TV decoders for Gauteng households in South Africa

For Gauteng citizens to benefit from free registration of Digital TV Decoders, the total income of the households must not be more than R3 200 per month. Since September 1, qualifying households in Gauteng have been able to register at their local post office for a subsidised digital television decoder.

Television viewers will need a decoder, also known as Set-Top-Box, to watch television in areas already transmitting digital television signals. To qualify, the applicant must be a South African citizen and the household must have a working television set. The Post Office coordinates the installation of the decoder and antenna. Local contractors will be enlisted to do the installation. This boosts the local economy.

Households that already have a satellite subscription television service will not need a decoder. Johan Kruger of the communications division of the South African Post Office said, “This project of providing free digital decoders to poorer households is run by the Department of Communication. The Post Office simply coordinates the application and installation processes, because it is the only governmental organisation that has branches everywhere, as well as computers that can handle the application processes for the decoders.”

“According to international telecommunication regulations, South Africa was supposed to implement digital television in 2015 already. Digital television has no white noise or interruptions from other channels, the sound and visual quality is much better and it requires less bandwidth,” Kruger said.

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