“The new policy seeks to clarify the use of a control system in set top boxes (STBs) that will enable households to switch from analogue to digital broadcast signals,” said acting director general Donald Liphoko.
Last week the Cabinet approved the broadcast digital amendment policy which makes provision for the inclusion of a control system.
Liphoko said Sentech was almost ready to distribute a digital signal while the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) was preparing to provide universal service coverage.
STBs would be distributed by the SA Post Office.
“The post office has presence in every community of the country and this will help us with the distribution of STBs,” he said.
Government would provide free STBs to more than five million poor television household owners and prioritise distribution to border region areas of the country to avoid and minimise signal interference between those regions and neighbouring countries.
All television owning households that relied on the old analogue signal would require STBs or decoders to receive digital television.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, in consultation with Cabinet, would determine the digital signal switch-on and analogue signal switch-off dates, which would be announced soon, Liphoko said.