Africa-Press – Mozambique. Three weeks after the first phase of the analogue TV signal switch off, there are still families in Maputo unable to watch television. They complain they lack the financial means and do not know how long they will remain unable to watch television.
This may be the so-called exclusion that was feared with the digital migration process, the first phase of which, in the cities of Maputo, Tete and Nampula, ended on September 30.
Argentina Alberto, 70 years old and a widow, lives with six grandchildren, all still minors. She earns a living for her family from a small stand outside her house.
According to Argentina, business has been poor and yields very little, so she ends up taking products from her stall to feed her grandchildren. She therefore considers digital migration yet another financial burden.
“Now we haven’t watched anything since the government cut the television signal. Before, we used to watch it sing the antenna on the roof, but now they say that, in order to watch television, we need to buy decoders, and I don’t have that kind of money,” she complains.
Indignant, she demands that the government “find a solution so as not to exclude the poor. I just feel sorry for my grandchildren, who can’t watch TV because I don’t have the money [for a decoder]”.
Argentina’s family is not alone in this plight. Júlia Vicente, a resident of the Luís Cabral neighbourhood, is another victim of the switch-off and says that, when she turns on her TV, all she sees is a blue screen – no entertainment, no information, no education.
Worst of all, she doesn’t know when she’ll be watching TV at home again.
“To watch, I go to my neighbour’s house. I already knew there would be this blackout, but I don’t work, my husband is the only one who works and he earns very little, not even enough to buy food, so we can’t buy this decoder. I don’t know when we’ll get one,” she says.
Alexandre Langa is in the same situation, and argues that, before the digital migration, the government should have made sure that no family would be excluded in the process, and only then moved forward.
“Or, they should subsidise the price of these decoders, because it doesn’t make sense for us not to watch TV just because we can’t afford one,” she concludes.
The second phase of the digital migration process ends on December 31st of this year.