The strongest indication yet that state-sponsored television set-top boxes will not be encrypted has been given by Minister of Communications Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Set-top boxes are needed to decode the digital signal for television sets without digital capabilities. Conditional access and encryption is crucial for pay television broadcasters, as it allows them to control who has access to their broadcasts. Briefing members of Parliament’s communication portfolio committee on the much-delayed digital-migration process, Kubayi-Ngubane said the current policy position "speaks to nonencryption". Her pronouncements are likely to put her on a collision course with some of her ANC colleagues who have backed encryption. Kubayi-Ngubane’s position also effectively reverses previous communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo’s policy position, which sought to ensure that set-top boxes are encrypted as per ANC resolutions. Kubayi-Ngubane said the department was confident it would meet the June ...

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