Govt plan to give 111 000 South Africans a free television – here’s who qualifies

The Treasury has confirmed that thousands of learners have been identified for the scheme. Here are the South Africans entitled to a free TV.

The Universal Service and Access Agency of South Africa (USAASA) has officially opened a fast-track tender process for a new government initiative, which aims to provide over 100 000 matric students with a free TV. The scheme is designed to ensure that no child is left behind during the coronavirus pandemic.

With more educational resources moving into the digital space, some students in Grade 12 simply do not have a way to reach information being shared online or through informative television programming. Internet connections and TV sets are luxuries some families can ill-afford.

Free TVs for learners – who qualifies?

Fearing that some disadvantaged learners could be excluded from learning materials other children can access, the ANC is now rolling out this scheme. For people to qualify, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Households must be home to at least one indigent Grade 12 learner.
  • Recipients must have applied for social grants or assistance through the Post Office.
  • However, for residents in the Western Cape and Gauteng, this offer doesn’t apply.

What televisions will be used?

The televisions themselves must be at least 32 inches wide, come with digital tuners and speakers built-in, and feature a HD LED panel. Remote controls and batteries will also be included with the package. In a statement posted by the Treasury, the government set out their tender conditions for any potential bidders:

“The scope of the project is to distribute digital free TVs (“IDTVs”) to indigent Grade 12 learner’s households for the purpose of receiving educational material via digital broadcasting network services. Homes without TVs could leave learners behind, with some not being ready to write and pass their final grade 12 examinations.”

“USAASA seeks to appoint a panel of successful bidders to provide IDTV’s and related accessories to the 2020 registered Grade 12 indigent households who have applied through the South African Post Office. Interested suppliers that are capable of supplying local IDTVs must now submit proposals.”

Treasury statement

How the Free TVs will be distributed

The Treasury also provided us with a list of how many free TVs would be distributed by province. A total of 111 004 matric learners are expected to benefit from this scheme, as they end their studies under extreme circumstances.

 

Province Number of learners eligible for free TVs
Eastern Cape 25 881
Free State 4 421
KwaZulu-Natal 32 009
Limpopo 7 317
Mpumalanga 24 880
Northern Cape 4 799
North West 11 697
TOTAL 111 004

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