Apply for a TV decoder, or lose TV viewing

Posted in Latest News

Klerksdorp Midweek, Klerksdorp – If you watch the SABC TV channels with an aerial, your TV will go dark soon. That’s when the country switches off analogue TV and changes to digital TV.

Qualifying households should visit their local 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.

During the 2021 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa must complete the migration to digital broadcast by March next year. The analogue television signal will be switched off and only digital television transmissions will be broadcast.

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

Qualifying households must apply at the post office and will get a free decoder. 

“All South African households with an income of R3 500 per month or less and a working television set qualify for a government subsidised set-top box. Qualifying beneficiaries must visit their nearest post office as soon as possible with the following documentation: a South African identity document, proof of address and an affidavit to confirm that the family has a working television set and a bank statement or affidavit to confirm that the family income is R3 500 per month or less.

If you receive a SASSA grant, you do not need to bring proof of income. Proof that you receive a SASSA grant is enough,” says Johan Kruger of the Post Office.

The post office branches have standard affidavits that the applicants can use to declare their income, to confirm that they own a working television 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.

Once an application has been approved, a local installer will install your set-top box.

The SA 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. 

“Even if your 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 SASSA beneficiary and you have a working television set, remember that you qualify for the subsidised set-top box.”

The quality of digital television broadcasts is better than an analogue signal. The subsidised set-top box also gives a much bigger selection of channels.

Apart from the three SABC TV channels, you’ll be able to watch SABC Sport, SABC News, Africa Magic, Supersport Blitz and Supersport Select, Discovery TLC, Disney JNR, Nick Toons, Mzanzi Music, Channel O and Dumisa, a religious channel.

You’ll also be able to pick up a variety of SABC radio channels.