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Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK -

Bloem­fontein’s Supreme Court of Ap­peal found that com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter Faith Muthambi acted be­yond her le­gal au­thor­ity when she amended the broad­cast mi­gra­tion pol­icy so as not to en­crypt the set-top boxes (STBs) that are key to South Africa’s dig­i­tal mi­gra­tion project. Govern­ment will distribute up to 5m sub­sidised STBs to poorer house­holds. Judge of Ap­peal CH Lewis wrote in his judg­ment that Muthambi has made it im­pos­si­ble for e.tv to broad­cast en­crypted sig­nals to tele­vi­sion view­ers with sub­sidised boxes. “This may place e.tv in breach of its li­cence con­di­tions,” he said. En­cryp­tion ca­pa­bil­ity can­not be fit­ted to boxes after they are man­u­fac­tured. e.tv would there­fore need to man­u­fac­ture 5m ad­di­tional boxes.

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