Communications minister Faith Muthambi will kick off the digital migration process for consumers on Friday, 2 October, when she begins the household registration process for set-top boxes for residents inside the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) area.
The process will begin in the community of Keimoes (Kai Garib municipality) in the Northern Cape, TechCentral reports.
“This is a very important milestone in the digital terrestrial television migration project. This means that households with television sets in the SKA area will now receive fully subsidised set-top-boxes once they have completed the registration process,’ said Muthambi in a statement.
Government intends on providing as many as 5 million free set-top boxes to poorer households as part of the long-delayed digital migration project.
The department of communications identified the SKA area of the province some time ago as the place where the digital TV programme will begin.
“We have set ourselves the target of concluding the migration from analogue to digital here in the Northern Cape by 1 January 2016,’ said Muthambi.
“Analogue television transmissions interfere with the signals received by the SKA telescope and for that reason analogue television transmissions in this area will be replaced by digital transmission from 1 January 2016. As this is a compulsory switchover, all households in the area qualify for a subsidised decoder.’
Households in the districts that form part of the SKA radio telescope must visit their local Post Office branch from 1 October to apply for a subsidised television decoder.
Towns around SKA area in the Northern Cape include Brandvlei, Britstown, Calvinia, Carnavon, Fraserburg, Groblershoop, Kakamas, Keimoes, Kenhardt, Loeriesfontein, Marydale, Nieuwoudtville, Pofadder, Springbok, Sutherland, Vanwyksvlei, Victoria West and Williston, the department of communications said.