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Free set-top boxes for those who earn R3 500 or less as digital migration deadline nears

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Qualifying households do not have to pay anything and are urged to visit their nearest SA Post Office as soon as possible to apply.

People who qualify are urged to visit their nearest SA Post Office as soon as possible to apply for a free government-subsidised decoder. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria – Qualifying households with an income of R3 500 or less a month are urged to visit their nearest SA Post Office as soon as possible to apply for a free government-subsidised decoder, also called a set-top box.

Qualifying households do not have to pay anything for the set-top box – it is free, post office spokesperson Johan Kruger said.

During this year’s State of the Nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government should complete the migration to digital broadcast by the end of March next year.

The analogue TV signal will then be switched off and only digital TV transmissions will be broadcast.

Analogue TV sets will then only work if they are connected to a decoder.

Kruger said qualifying households that apply before November will receive a decoder before the analogue TV signal is switched off.

Those who apply after this time will only receive a decoder later.

All South African households with an income of R3 500 per month or less and a working TV set qualify for a government subsidised set-top box.

Kruger said qualifying beneficiaries must visit their nearest post office branch as soon as possible and bring the required documentation along.

A South African ID, proof of address and an affidavit to confirm that the family has a working TV set.

Applicants must also bring a bank statement or affidavit along to confirm that the family income is R3 500 per month or less.

“If you receive a social grant, you do not need to bring proof of income. Proof that you receive a grant is enough,” Kruger said.

He assured that post office branches had standard affidavits that the applicants could use to declare their income, to confirm that they own a working TV set, and to confirm their residential address.

“You do not need to visit a police station to do an official affidavit before you go to the post office.”

Kruger said once an application has been approved, the information is given to Sentech to appoint a local installer to install the set-top box.

“The post office is aware that some families registered for a set-top box at the beginning of the campaign, but the installation has not been done yet.

“Installations are done per province and appointment of local installers is done by Sentech via local municipalities.

“There is no need to re-register to make sure you receive a set-top box,” he said.

“Even if a local post office is very busy with grant payments, rest assured: if you apply for a subsidised set-top box, you will go into a separate queue.

“If you are a social grant beneficiary and you have a working TV set, remember that you qualify for the subsidised set-top box.”

Kruger assured that the quality of digital TV broadcasts is better than an analogue signal.

The subsidised set-top box also gives a much bigger selection of channels.

Pretoria News

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