South Africa’s Department Of Communications Plans To Fast-Track Digital Migration
28 February 2019
South Africa’s Department of Communications (DOC) has yet again promised to speed up the rollout of the digital migration project.
The DOC said this in its plans in the Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) document that coincided with The South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni's recent national budget speech.
The ENE publications are a compilation of the latest information from departmental and other sources. These publications unpack in great detail the government's expenditure plans for the next three financial years.
South Africa did not make the June 2015 deadline that had been set by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for countries to accomplish the switch from traditional analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT).
The ITU had called on countries to migrate to digital in order for radio frequency spectrum to be availed for mobile broadband services.
The country's migration date has been postponed numerous times, and June 2019 was previously marked as the latest deadline for digital TV.
However, the Department of Communications has now pledged to ensure that the country’s citizens migrate to digital broadcasting platforms by July 2020.
According to the department, the new digital migration deadline is in accordance with the adoption of a new delivery model for DTT that was approved by Cabinet in 2018.
The model entails providing digital set-top boxes to citizens through retail shops rather than directly by the government, in so doing, it frees up government procurement processes.
The DOC added that consumers would be provided with call centre support for all their decoder installations and other relevant queries.
This service will be provided and operated by Sentech due to its significant role in the project.
The department also confirmed that to successfully carry out all the activities necessary for the fast-tracking of the digital migration project, $6.9 million had been set aside by the South African government.