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Digital Switch-Over Starts in SA, Finally!

After several long and drawn-out attempts, South Africa - the country with the largest economy and most developed infrastructure on the continent - seem to, finally, be switching its broadcast signal from analogue to digital - even if this will be in phases.

Information received by @DigitisingAfrica from the South Africa's department of communications indicates that the "square kilometre array areas" of the Northern Cape region will be the first to switch off analogue signals.

Depending on further successes, the Northern Cape, the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng provinces will be gradually phased in. It is well known that the digital switch-over in South Africa has been bogged down by series of issues including the high-profile battle between eTV (the broadcaster) and the government over encryption of transmissions, particularly with HDTV signals.

SA's Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, is quietly confident that with the on-going planned phased switch-off of analogue signals, her agency will, in due course, be able to resolve all outstanding issues related to the encryption of broadcast signal and the production and distribution of digital set-top boxes.


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