Xigalo – Masingita Majoko from Xigalo, Limpopo, never thought in her 81 years of existence she would see television images so crystal clear – as if it were real life.
Majoko and other residents in Xigalo on Monday received government-subsidised set-top boxes (STBs), which allowed them to switch to digital terrestrial television. DTT involves the move from analogue to digital broadcasting, which comes with a host of benefits, chief among these being superior quality sound and images, and many more channels from which to choose.
“… I am not going to sleep as I will be watching news, entertainment and religious channels… As if that is not enough, digital broadcasting also gives me an option to listen to Munghana Lonene FM. I don’t have enough words to thank Minister Muthambi,” she said.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi officiated the handover of STBs in Xigalo. She has been visiting mainly border-lying areas to hand over STBs as the country moves over to digital broadcasting. Border-lying areas are prioritised in digital migration to prevent signal interference from neighbouring countries.
Minister Muthambi did not only give Majoko a STB, she gave her a television set. The pensioner lives alone in a one-room house following the death of her husband, her two children and her two grandchildren.
TV owners across the country need to either acquire a STB to connect their analogue TV or purchase a digital television set, which has an inbuilt digital tuner. A STB converts signals from a digital television broadcast into a form which can be viewed on the traditional television set.
For now, South Africa still has the analogue signal running, alongside the digital signal. Minister Muthambi said the switch-off date for the analogue signal will be announced when more than 80% of the country has migrated to digital transmission.
Minister Muthambi encouraged poor households to visit their nearest post office to register for a free STB.
“Now that gogo Majoko migrated from analogue to digital broadcasting, she will never be subjected to the frustrations of rotating rooftop antenna searching for better television reception,” she said.