SA will miss digital TV deadline – report

A department of communications official has been quoted as saying that South Africa will miss the mid-2015 deadline to switch off analogue terrestrial television.

Communications minister Dina Pule

Communications minister Dina Pule

South Africa will miss the 2015 deadline to convert its analogue broadcasting signal to digital, according to a report in Sunday’s Rapport newspaper. The delay will mean that analogue television will use up bandwidth which is necessary for faster Internet.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has said that after June 2015 countries will no longer be protected against disruptions of the radio waves that are used for analogue television broadcasts.

The original plan had been to make the switch from the analogue to the digital signal by 2008.

A communications department official told Rapport that the government would have to negotiate with the ITU to protect its analogue broadcast network after the 2015 deadline.

“There is not enough time left. All we can do now is to extend the cut-off date,” assistant director for information and communications technology, Themba Phiri, told the newspaper.

The switch from analogue to digital requires that the government distribute between 5m and 7m decoders to poor households. It was estimated it would cost R4,5bn to subsidise 5m decoders.

Another problem was that the department had insisted that the decoders be manufactured locally.

A further hurdle was that communications minister Dina Pule and were involved in a legal battle to determine who should be in charge of the decoders and the technology used to convert digital television signals.

Two weeks ago, Pule indicated she would appeal a court ruling that she acted improperly in putting state-owned broadcasting company Sentech in charge of this.  — Sapa

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  • Spartan101

    This deadline was initially in 2009 in anticipation for the 2010 World Cup! What have they (read Communications Ministers) been doing? In communication terms a 6year deadline miss is not just failure … it is competitive death! Thank you ANC for hamstringing me and SA whilst you spend this 6 year budget on yourselves: breakfasts and tuck shops (read re: Nkandla and New Age papers). Despite my most desperate wishes the ANC has become our death-knell … who will stand against this?

  • David Robert Lewis

    Analogue signals interfering with “faster internet” surely not? And permission needed from ICU to accomplish anything, does the Televisionator know anything about the DSB-T2 standard? One can only hope our very own Arnold of the Airwaves comes to her senses and hands everyone a Droid Stick and some moola, of course she could simply admit Telkom failed to deliver cable freedom and boot us all to the next level by allowing some real competition in the fibre to home market, but that would be too open-minded for a party official.

  • Gary

    its amazing how delayed SA is in things like cheap communication, high definition, fast cheap internet, digital broadcasts and such.

  • Guest

    why is south africa so delayed in this regard? what do the agencies responsible do all day? HD tv is old news already. everyone has a flat panel HD display but no idea what the benefit is unless they have playstation or dstv hdpvr. why is SABC so behind with the times? again: WHAT THE HELL DO THEY DO ALL DAY? Telkom only now coming out with 40mbps speeds at a hellish premium? what they dont know is that technology will find a way to jump over them and reach the masses, cheaply.

  • Davebee

    Time to get this on to the INTERNATIONAL arena and fast as well. That this so-called minister and her ANC predecessors have been allowed to get away with this type of criminal neglect and criminal incompetence must be shown up on the worlds electronic media, they are a national disgrace.

    But….with a political CEO like the Nkandla Spaza Shop Zuma what can we expect?

  • Anthony Bingham

    Is there nothing, absolutely nothing these ANC “deployed” cretins can get right? Their staggering incompetence is only matched by their egos – and red shoes!

  • Vusi Sibiya

    When your awareness expands beyond that which the functionality of two brain cells allows… then you’ll be also able to see the overwhelming amount of good which has been achieved by the ANC government for this country.

  • The Emperor has no clothes…

    I cant make up my mind if you are a troll or an idiot?

  • Hiswona

    “”” does the Televisionator know anything about the DSB-T2 standard?”””
    There is no DSB-T2 standard….
    It seems you also don’t know about DVB-T2 that you refer to.

  • Hiswona

    They are working on it. SABC HD1 is already live on Dt2.

  • Greg Mahlknecht

    Why be picky? He can be both!

  • Vusi Sibiya

    an idiot troll… it’s quite astonishing that there would be great minds with
    little capacity to distinguish. I guess it’s not what you have but how well you’re able to use it.

  • Anthony Bingham

    The only answer I can come up with is that Vusi has been “deployed” by the ANC to this site as an apologist – why else would he make absurd and idiotic statements – true to form..

  • Vusi Sibiya

    Another answer which wouldn’t be fathomed by someone, whose brain is limited to the functionality of two brain cells, is that this website is open to everyone to freely express their points of view.

  • damnedifiwill

    Yet another in a long line of failures by the woefully incompetent and destructive ANC government.

    They will eventually, ‘by their sloth and folly, bring all to nought’ (apologies to rudyard Kipling)

  • Kagiso van Zyl

    Stop lying there is no such thing as SABC HD1

  • John Mitchell

    Thanks Dina, you’re making quite the mess of things!

  • Hiswona

    There is. Channel 13 on digital terrestrial television.

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