Plans to move from the analogue to digital mode of transmission are are now in full gear although the country lags behind other African countries who have already started or completed all their phases of digital migration albeit amid controversies.
So far, the SA Department of Communications has Gazetted the amendm
ents to the Broadcast Digital Migration Policy that seeks to clarify the use of a control system in Set Top Boxes (STBs) that will enable households to switch from analogue to digital broadcast signals.
“The Department of Communications has gazetted the Amendment of the Broadcasting Digital Migration Policy issued under Government Gazette No 31408 on 8 September 2008.
“The gazette No 38583 was published on the 18th March 2015 and is available on the departmental website www.doc.gov.za and is also available free online at www.gpwonline.co.za,” said the department on Thursday.
According to the SA government news, the Cabinet-approved policy takes into consideration submissions made by stakeholders on the amendments proposed by the department on 6 December 2013.
Acting Director General in department, Donald Liphoko, said: “The time to migrate to a digital broadcasting system has arrived and South Africans should embrace the challenge of opening the digital dividend which will enable the country to unlock the economic and social benefits of broadband technology.”
The department has begun engaging entities on aligning plans to the policy as Sentech is getting ready to distribute a digital signal while the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is gearing up to provide universal service coverage and new channels.
All television owning households that rely on the old analogue signal will require STBs or decoders to receive digital television.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi, in consultation with Cabinet, is expected to determine the digital signal switch-on and analogue signal switch-off dates, which will be announced soon.