South Africa: Digital migration off track?

Technology & Convergence

South Africa's deadline for the digital broadcasting switch-on is 1 November this year, but as of the end of June, the Department of Communications (DoC) had still not published a Digital Broadcasting Migration Strategy, nor released a national standard specification for the set top boxes (STBs) required to decode the digital signal, nor finalised an STB subsidy for the lower LSMs of the population.

Screen Africa contacted DoC spokesperson Albi Modise, who was unable to give an indication of when the strategy would be published or provide any other concrete information relating to the above prior to going to press.

'However,' said Modise, 'I can confirm that the strategy is currently going through the cabinet process, which is a complex one as it involves many different government departments. Because the strategy is a national one it has to go through cabinet before being published.'

According to the Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association (SADIBA), which has been heavily involved in the digital broadcasting migration process in South Africa through the work of the Ministerial Digital Broadcasting Migration Working Group, the STB specification has now been provided to the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).