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BDM/DTT Project Planning

As part of the BDM(Broadcasting Digital Migration)Programme, USAASA is required to assist poor TV-owning households by subsidizing the cost to acquire DTT(Digital Terrestrial Television) and DTH(Direct toHome)Set-Top Boxes and an tennas, as well as provide installation services(through the USAF). To achieve this, USAASA is required to:

  • Define the criteria for identifying poor TV-owning households (Qualifying Criteria);
  • Appoint suppliers/manufacturers of locally produced STBs and Antennas, from which STBs are to be procured for distribution to qualifying households, through the(SAPO) South African Post Office branch network;
  • Manage a database of installers, which will be used to provide STB installation services to households that have qualified for and acquired STBs; and
  • Ensure the effective management of the project, prea nd post the commercial launch of DTT.

 The switch-on and switch-off date of the digital and analogue broadcasting digital terrestrial television signals  will respectively be determined by the Minister of Communications in consultation with Cabinet. The b national broadcasting terrestrial television digital signal coverage shall aim to cover 84 percent of the total South African population. Are as that may be deemed difficult or uneconomical to reach will becovered by free-to-air DTH satellite using the DVB-S2 technology.

 The Set-Top Box Subsidy project seeks to:

 1. Ensure that the objectives of the“Broadcasting Digital  Migration Policy of South Africa” are met;

2. Ensure an efficient process of providing subsidies to poor TV-owning households;


3. Ensure that the 5 Million poor TV-owning households targeted for subsidisation do indeed receive Set-Top Boxes and become part of a Digital South Africa.

 While the process to migrate to the digital broadcasting system affects all SouthAfrican,the scheme of ownership is aimed at assisting the 5million poor TV owning households to acquire set-top-boxes.The scheme will be implemented in a phased approach aligned to Sentech’s DTT transmitter rollout plan. Households can apply for subsidies through the South Africa PostOffice Outlets.The following documentation is required as part of the application process:

 1. Valid identification document.

2. Proof of TV ownership.

3. Proof of monthly income.

4. Proof of address.

 If the application for a STBsubsidy is not approved, the PostOffice will provide the reasons to the applicant why the application was not approved.

 Approved households will receive their settopbox and related accessories from the South African PostOffice.The approved households will also be issued with an installation voucher. A USAASA approved installer will contact the beneficiary within five workingdays to make the necessary arrangements for the installation of the beneficiaries’ equipment.

 The manufacturing of set-topboxes and related accessories has already commenced in line with government’s industrial policy. The rolloutout of set-top-boxes has commenced in the Square Kilometre Array area of the Northern Cape and will soon be starting in the other provinces of South Africa.


Department announces 31st March 2018 deadline for registration to receive government-subsidised decoders in North West and Free State provinces

 Immediate Release

 Households qualifying to receive government-subsidised decoders in the Free State and North West provinces have until the end of March 2018 to register for these devices.

 The analogue signal will be permanently switched off in June 2019 and people will need decoders to watch television.  Government has since last year been distributing free decoders to those families that cannot afford commercial devices. However, households that fail to register and receive these decoders will lose access to television services. Television viewing households who subscribe to pay-tv channels will face no signal disruptions as these services are already in the digital decoders that they have.

 Families earning below R3200 qualify to receive the government-subsidised decoders. Qualifying households are therefore invited to register at their nearest Post Office. The registration deadline is 31st of March 2018 for the Free State and North West provinces.

 We also encourage households that fall outside the qualifying criteria to get digitally-enabled TV sets, and migrate with us! When buying a new TV set, ensure that it has a digital tuner.

 Officials from the Department of Communications are currently visiting various municipality districts in the North West and Free State  province to register and install government subsidised decoders to qualifying households. This move is aimed at accelerating the installation of decoders with view of completing the installations to qualifying households in the both province.

 The registration and installation teams will adopt a phased approach that will see them going through all the district municipalities in the province.

 The department has also enlisted the support of provincial and local governments to encourage qualifying residents to register for these government-subsidised decoders.             

The Department of Communications is working together with the South African Post Office to reach communities and to distribute the subsidised television decoders to qualifying households.

 Enquires: Mish Molakeng 082 469 3997

Department of Communications

 DTT Registration Deadline (Setswana)

DTT Registration Deadline (English)

DTT Registration Deadline (Sesotho)

DTT Registration Deadline (Afrikaans)

Usaasa - Broadcasting Digital Migration Phamplet5 (2)

 SAPO Criterior Pumphlet