South Africa: Free State Will Be First To Receive Digital Terrestrial TV
Nomvula Mokonyane, Communications Minister, made this announcement in Tshwane during a media briefing on the broadcasting digital migration process.
She said that the decision was based on the overwhelming support that the project continues to receive from the leadership, at both provincial and local levels.
Mokonyane also announced that the provincial government of the Free State would be hosting a joint DTT discussion with the Department (of Communications) and other stakeholders, to energise the province and unlock the opportunities within the project in order to benefit the people of the province.
She thanked the Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela, for her presence and for the support that she and her province had given the project.
Mokonyane said the Northern Cape would be the second province to switch over to digital. She added that, based on the resources available and the activities plan, the transformation from analogue TV to digital would be completed by July 2020.
The Communications Minister expressed that this would not be an easy project as it would require all the stakeholders to work together, and the media would have to inform the public. She said that a lot still needs to be done, but she trusts that with support, this project will be a very successful one.
Mokonyane has high hopes about what this project will do for the country, and she believes that the road to South Africa being a dominant global leader in ICT will start with this DTT project.
News24 had in the past reported that South Africa had missed numerous DTT deadlines, since the switch was planned back in 2008, due to in-fighting between stakeholders, corruption, constant changes on broadcast standards and conflict over conditional access and encryption system matters.
In June 2015, South Africa missed the deadline set by the International Telecommunication Union for the completion of the process. It does not seem like that the council will meet its 2019 deadline.
The DTT delivery model is being reviewed to accelerate analogue switch-off. Analogue viewers are those who do not have a satellite dish or a decoder.