Digital Migration

SA Government To Team Up With SABC and MultiChoice on Digital Migration

Times Live reported that Nomvula Mokonyane, South Africa’s Communications Minister has announced that after spending over R10bn on the project over the years, the South African government will no longer be procuring set-top boxes meant for the switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting.
This is the latest flip-flop in the SA government’s policy regarding digital migration.
The process has been lagging for many years now due to all sorts of political inconsistencies and deadline push-backs.

Mokonyane said that the government has now decided to rather make use of an industry-driven “hybrid” model going forward but she assured the public that the set-top boxes that had already been manufactured would not go to waste as they would be given to poor households in the North-West, Freestate and the Northern Cape.

The decision was made after an advisory council informed the government that the existing set-top boxes were using technology that had increasingly become outdated and even obsolete.

She added that the government would focus on forming a partnership with leading companies in the private broadcasting industry to drive digital migration forward instead of installing and procuring set-top boxes directly.

The potential partners include the SABC and MultiChoice, in addition to top device manufacturers.

Mokonyane said that those companies that were supposed to be backed by the government throughout the migration process would still benefit‚ but not just benefit through the set-top box. She added that her department was considering the utilisation of using vouchers going forward when doing business with MultiChoice, the SABC and the retail industry.

The Minister of Communications declared that the total amount invested in installing, procuring and marketing the set-top boxes comes to approximately R10 billion.

She said that because of the development and advancement of technology‚ many of the interventions that were considered had become obsolete and therefore a hybrid of intervention was needed.


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