Surprise government announcement of the day goes to the department of communications who have said that South Africans will have to pay around R800 to continue watching television since the department missed the international deadline to switch from analog to digital terrestrial television. Viewers will have to pay for a new set top box which will be required to watch SA’s free to air channels like SABC, etv etc. Those with satellite channels like DStv won’t have to worry, but millions of South Africans will be forced to pay.
And that isn’t the only issue. The government has already spent over R300 million on manufacturing the set top boxes, but they could all be useless if e.tv wins its case against the government to use an encrpytion system. The government has made the boxes without a specific conditional access system and if they lose the appeal against e.tv’s case the 650 000 boxes they’ve already produced won’t work.
“More than a year after South Africa’s department of communications missed the international deadline of June 2015 to complete the switch to digital terrestrial television (DTT) – a process known as digital migration that’s already fraught with several allegations of corruption that’s being investigated – the South African government finally revealed in parliament on Thursday the shocking cost to TV households of the very expensive exercise.” [Channel 24]
Now you know.