Digital Migration

South Africa: Communications Minister To Ask USAASA Off Digital Migration Project

South Africa's Communications Ministry through its leadership, Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has issued a directive to the effect that the communications ministry will no longer deal with digital migration or procurement of Set Top Boxes (STBs) through the USAASA.

According to reports, in 2015, the USAASA awarded a ZAR4.3 Billion (USD 340 Million) tender for the manufacturing of digital migration set-top boxes (STBs) to the 26 companies that bid for the tender. A little later, the same USAASA allocated a purchase order for 1.5 million STBs with only three out of the 26 manufacturers: BUA Africa, CZ Electronics,  and Leratadima.

After investigating, the minister said: "There is not a single set-top box manufacturer in South Africa, but we have these decoders. They go to China and purchase them.

Set-top box manufacturing needs people with technical capability. We should have been realistic with the selected three companies and gave them specification as to how they fit in the digital migration process so we can create opportunities for businesses".

She added: "Everyone who participated in the contract must provide the status report. Together with trade and industry, we will help these entities. These contractors have gone out to borrow money to buy these STBs without appropriate supervision, and it cannot be the government that is again destroying emerging businesses."


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