Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has set September 30 as the closing date for applications for subsidised set-top boxes (STBs).
The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies will publish the gazette directing the deadlines on Friday.
A new date for the analogue switch-off is still to be communicated once consultations with stakeholders are concluded.
Ntshavheni said that the analogue transmission has been switched off in the Free State, the Northern Cape, the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, with Sentech having completed the restacking of the spectrum.
However, until the analogue switch-off is completed in the four remaining provinces, namely Gauteng, the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, the digital migration cannot be completed, she said.
STB installations have been completed in the Free State, the Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The April floods severely impacted installations in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and, as at June 30, 94 193 beneficiary households remained unconnected in the two provinces; however, connections are continuing at a slow pace.
“We have also commenced with installations of the 56 354 households that had registered by March, except in the Western Cape and the North West, which will commence next week,” she said.
The total number of households that had registered for the subsidised decoders reached 260 868 between November and March, representing about 52 000 registrations a month. From April to June, the number of STB registrations had slowed to 49 385, or 16 461 a month.
Given the slowdown in the number of applications, the Minister feels that the September 30 closure of applications provides sufficient time for the last registrations and no applications will be considered after this date. However, this will be evaluated on an as-needed basis.