The Department of Telecommunications & Postal Services(DTPS) of South Africa says it will focus on supporting the rollout of broadcasting digital migration in the country over the medium-term. In the Estimates of National Expenditure, the document handed out with the budget speech, minister Siyabonga Cwele noted his department will continue to support the Department of Communications(DOC) as SA migrates to digital terrestrial television (DTT).
“The South African Post Office has been tasked with the distribution of set-top boxes (STBs) and antennae to identified qualifying households, and receives an increase of R480 million in the ICT Infrastructure Support Programme over the medium-term for this purpose. Sentech will also be preparing to migrate digital signals, and receives an increase of R113 million in the ICT Infrastructure Support Programme,” quoted from the document.
The ZAR 480 million will be used to subsidise STBs for 766 242 poor TV-owning households. Government has promised to subsidies five million poor TV-owning households with free STBs for the digital migration process.
To recall, South Africa missed the 17 June 2015 deadline set by the International Telecommunication Union for all member countries to migrate from an analogue to a DTT signal. However, the DOC installed the first batch of government-subsidized STBs in the Northern Cape last December.