Minister to report on implementation of ICTs

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pretoria - Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburi is expected to give an update on the readiness of South Africa's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure ahead of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup next week.

Minister Matsepe-Casaburi will demonstrate the state of readiness of the ICT infrastructure at Loftus stadium and other 2010 venues at an event to be held in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Government made certain guarantees to FIFA when it won the bid to host the World Cup, including providing ICT infrastructure that conforms to FIFA requirements, including for wire and wireless national and international telephones, data, audio and video exchanges.

At the same time, government will ensure that the event produces a lasting legacy for ICTs in South Africa, including enhancing South Africa's migration to high-definition television and new broadcasting technology.

Government will also help the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to set up a fully equipped central media centre as well as media centres in all FIFA World Cup stadiums. The International Broadcast Centre will be the media nerve centre for the World Cup. It will provide coverage of the tournament to a cumulative audience of an estimated 30 billion viewers.

The minister had earlier said that Sentech is on schedule to meet government's commitment by providing 80 percent digital terrestrial television coverage by 2010. Sentech intends to launch at least one HDTV satellite channel, in time for the event.

Sentech will also build a second teleport to provide additional capacity needed for the 2010 satellite uplink requirement. On the other hand the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) plans to have six more high-definition units in place by the end of 2009.

Governments budgeting for 2010 prioritised spending that would leave a lasting legacy.