The switch-off of analogue television transmitters process currently underway comes at the back of a reviewed implementation process. (Getty)
- The phased switch-off of analogue TV transmitters has begun.
- It is anticipated that this process, which will be done province-by-province, will be completed by the end of March next year.
- The department is collaborating with provincial governments and district municipalities to recruit local installers.
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Technologies, together with broadcasters, have started with the phased switch-off of analogue television transmitters in the Free State.
This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during the State of the Nation Address last month that the phased switch-off of analogue TV transmitters would begin this month.
It is estimated that there are more than three million households in the country who are still on the analogue television platform.
It is anticipated that this process – which will be done province-by-province – will be completed by the end of March next year. After the Free State, the aim is to move on to the Northern Cape (April 2021); the North West (May 2021); Mpumalanga (May 2021); the Eastern Cape (May 2021); KwaZulu-Natal (July 2021); the Western Cape (November 2021); Limpopo (December 2021); and Gauteng (January 2022).
The switch-off of analogue television transmitters process currently under way comes at the back of a reviewed implementation process initiated by Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, with the ultimate aim to eliminate inefficiencies and bottlenecks.
“As it is in the interest of the country that the broadcasting digital migration is completed to free up much-needed spectrum, we are redoubling our efforts to accelerate the project,” Ndabeni-Abrahams said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The release of spectrum will greatly improve connectivity within South Africa and spur the digitalisation of economic activities. We have adopted an inclusive approach to educate the public about the digital migration project and the options available to consumers, including those television viewing households that do not qualify for the government-subsidised set-top-boxes.”
The department is collaborating with provincial governments and district municipalities to recruit local installers of government-subsided decoders in order to accelerate the implementation of the broadcasting digital migration.
The government has committed to subsidise indigent households with a combined household income of less than R3 200 per month.
Decoders are required to convert an analogue signal to digital television.