South Africa’s Cabinet has approved a number of amendments to the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy relating mainly to whether the set-top boxes required to achieve the migration should have a control system or not. Among the criteria used to decide on this were the following:
Taking these and other criteria together, the Cabinet decided that the use of a control system should not be mandatory. The STBs will, however, have a control system to protect the Government’s investment in the subsidised STB market and the local electronics industry and, with rapid technological changes, for future use by broadcasters who might not want to use it now.
To avoid subscription broadcasters unfairly benefiting from the STB control system, the government’s investment in the STB Control System will be recovered from those subscription broadcasters that choose to make use of the STB Control system.
The Cabinet urges all parties to move on from their previous differences and work together with the government in rolling out digital migration as soon as possible in the country’s interests.