Govt to help more than 1.2m households with digital migration

After missing the 2011, 2015 and 2020 goals, the department is confident that it will meet the new target set by the president in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

Picture: 113rf.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Communications Department said that more than 1.2 million households who qualified for government assistance towards digital migration had already registered and would be prioritised as South Africa chases its March 2022 deadline.

After missing the 2011, 2015 and 2020 goals, the department is confident that it will meet the new target set by the president in his State of the Nation Address earlier this year.

The move from analogue to digital transmission includes the provision of set-top boxes to indigent households.

Communications Deputy Minister Philly Mapulane said that more than 3.7 million households qualified for government-sponsored set-top boxes and of those, over 1.2 million had registered.

"It's possible that some of those who fall between the 3.7 million as estimated by Statistics South Africa may have migrated but the number we have now is over 1.2 million," the deputy minister said.

Mapulane said that though the registration deadline was set for the end of October, those who were eligible may still register.

"We urged indigent households to register before the 31st of October. All of them will be given a set-top box and will be connected so that they are migrated by March 2022," he said.

While the department has abandoned its provincial approach for a national plan, three provinces have completed their switch, with two more aiming to fully migrate by the end of January.