South Africa approves STB Manufacturing Sector Development Strategy

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 

Statement on Cabinet meeting of 20 March 2012

South Africa’s Cabinet held its ordinary meeting in Pretoria on 20 March 2012. Key strategic decisions included the following:

Ownership support for poor household digital set-top boxes (STBs)

Cabinet approved the Ownership Support Rollout Framework for Set-Top Boxes (STB’s) to poor households that own television sets and the full subsidisation of outdoor and indoor antennae and the installation costs associated with rolling out digital signals. It further approved the full subsidization of television owning households in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project area in the Northern Cape.

The set-top box has been identified as an important tool for public access to government information and services. Government is therefore playing a critical role in bridging the digital divide in the country.

Cabinet expressed sensitivity to poor households who may have already invested in analogue television sets and particularly those in the Northern Cape whose television signal would otherwise be scrambled by the SKA project.

Set-top-box Manufacturing Sector Development Strategy

Cabinet approved the Set-Top-Box (STB) Manufacturing Sector Development Strategy and agreed that the Minister of Communications, Trade and Industry and Economic Development further consult on measures to ensure localisation.

A Government-STB Manufacturing Industry Partnership approach to develop this sector will form a good platform for the creation of a strong and globally competitive electronics manufacturing industry in South Africa, which is an objective of the Industrial Policy Action Plan. It will also spur job creation along the total digital migration value chain.