Set-top-box subsidies for 5 million homes
About five million households that are deemed to be poor, will benefit from the subsidies. In addition, the full subsidisation for households with television sets in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project area of the Northern Cape was also approved.
“Cabinet has approved the Ownership Support Rollout Framework for Set-Top-Boxes (STB’s) to poor households that own television sets and the full subsidisation of outdoor and indoor antennae and the installation costs associated with rolling out digital signals,” said Cabinet spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi.
Set-top-boxes are required when South Africans switches from analogue to digital broadcasting. Government recently finalised the set-top-box manufacturing sector development strategy, which sets out how interventions aimed at supporting the manufacturing industry.
Government hopes to create 23 500 jobs through the manufacturing of the STBs and antennae, installation and through repair and maintenance.
“The set- top-box had been identified as an important tool for public access to government information and services. Government was therefore playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide in the country, “ Manyi explained.
“Cabinet expressed sensitivity to poor households who may have already invested in analogue television sets and particularly those in the Northern Cape whose television signal would otherwise be scrambled by the SKA project,” he added.