SA: New Transmitter Site Switches On


Public broadcaster SABC has switched on another low power transmitter site at Indermark, Limpopo Province. The SABC has been rolling out the installation of low power transmitters across South Africa to provide isolated communities with access – in the case of Indermark to SABC1, 2, 3, and Thobela FM. The aim is to ensure that every South African has access to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in a medium and cultural relevance of choice.

Other municipal areas that will benefit from the new transmitters during the course of the year.include Vhulaudzi, also in the Limpopo Province, and Agterwitzenberg and Genadendal in the Western Cape Province. Furthermore, the SABC will activate Public Viewing Areas during the World Cup, affording an alternative viewing experience to the South African public.

“There are an estimated 3.6 million South Africans who do not have free-to-air access to any SABC television services, and about 5.4 million who do not have access to radio services. Most of these people live in remote areas; others reside in more densely populated localities but are denied access by buildings or geographical features. For many of them, the prospect of SABC reception prior to 2010 FIFA World Cup has now become a reality,” says SABC Acting Group Chief Executive Officer, Gab Mampone.

“SABC’s vision for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is to drive African access and legacy behind the World Cup and installing these transmitters will provide improved universal access to SABC’s services to all affected areas during and after the World Cup,” says General Manager 2010, Peter Kwele.

On track with its roll out plan, a number of low-power transmitters have already been erected and launched, and areas like Philippollis, Prince Albert, Nelspoort, Merweville, Leeugamka, Klaarstroom and several Kgalagadi villages are now enjoying access to SABC TV channels and radio stations.

It is envisaged that that the low-power initiative will address the needs of approximately 1.5million people without access, through the deployment of about 300 low power transmitter sites over a three-year period which began in April 2008.

Funding this obligation is no easy task, and the pro-active collection of television licence fees countrywide goes a long way towards providing broadcasting services to the millions of South Africans who tune in to radio or television services on a daily basis.

“We wish to take this opportunity to thank the TV licence-paying citizens of South Africa, whose willingness to make this annual payment has provided real value for these areas that previously had very limited or no access to broadcasting services,” says City Seokane, Acting Head of the Audience Services Division.

The SABC will continue to use part of television licence fees to make these installations possible. This project is a partnership between the Department of Communications, Sentech and the national broadcaster – in some cases extending also to involve other infrastructure providers.

SABC is the official broadcaster of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.