Post Office urges qualifying households to apply for free TV decoders

Free government subsidised TV decoder
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The South African Post Office (SAPO) has urged qualifying households to apply for free government-subsidised TV decoders, which are also known as set-top boxes.

South Africa is in the process of migrating from analogue to digital broadcast by 31 March 2022 as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address earlier this 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,” SAPO explained in a statement on Thursday (21 October).

“Qualifying households that apply before 1 November 2021 will receive a decoder before the analogue television signal is switched off. Those who apply after 1 November will only receive a decoder later.”

How to apply for a free decoder at Post Office

To apply for a free decoder, qualifying households need to visit their nearest Post Office branch with the following documents:

  1. A South African identity document.
  2. Proof of address.
  3. An affidavit to confirm that the family has a working television set.
  4. 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.

SAPO said its branches have a standard affidavit that applicants can use to declare their income, to confirm that they own a working television set and to confirm their residential address.

This means that applicants do not need to visit a police station to obtain an official affidavit before visiting a Post Office branch.

Once SAPO approves an application, it will forward the information to Sentech, which will in turn appoint a local installer to make the free decoder installation at the approved household.

“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. 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,” SAPO said.

“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.”

TV and radio channels on new set-top boxes

The quality of digital TV broadcast is much better than analogue broadcast. Once they have the free decoder installed, applicants will access a wider pool of channels listed below.

TV channels

  1. SABC 1
  2. SABC 2
  3. SABC 3
  4. SABC Sport
  5. SABC Education
  6. SABC Encore
  7. SABC News
  8. Parliament
  9. Africa Magic Epic
  10. Mzanzi Bioskop
  11. M Movies 4
  12. Mzanzi Wethu
  13. S Sport Blitz
  14. SS Select sport
  15. Discovery TLC
  16. Disney JNR
  17. Nick Toons
  18. Mzanzi Music
  19. Channel O
  20. Dumisa
  21. Mnet Go
  22. 790 CSN

Radio channels

  1. Radio 2000
  2. Metro
  3. Good Hope
  4. RSG
  5. 04 Channel Africa
  6. 5FM
  7. Lesedi Fm
  8. Lotus
  9. Ukhozi
  10. SAFM
  11. Umhlobo
  12. Thobela
  13. Metsweding
  14. Munghana Lonene
  15. Phalaphala
  16. Ligwalagala
  17. Ikwekwezi
  18. Tru FM
  19. X K FM

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