Minister Dlodlo meets broadcasters on digital migration

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Pretoria – Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will today meet broadcasters following the June 8 court ruling on digital migration. 

The meeting will be held with broadcasters SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation), Etv, StarSat and other stakeholders in the digital terrestrial television (DTT) programme. 

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Wednesday said the June 8 Constitutional Court ruling paved the way for the Minister to make a decision regarding the encrypt or non-encryption of set-top-boxes, which are required to convert digital broadcasting signals on analogue TV sets. 

“The meeting is a step closer to ensuring that the Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) process is implemented without delay. 

“The aim is to ensure that all affected stakeholders jointly come up with a plan that will assist government to meet its obligation to ensure that South Africans are migrated from analogue to digital television platforms by December 2018,” said the GCIS. 

The court upheld the appeal by former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi against the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which ruled that the process by which the Minister amended the BDM policy in March 2015 was invalid and therefore unlawful. 

The ruling means that the subsidised set-top boxes that government has earmarked for five million poor households can now go ahead. Production of the first batch of 1.5 million decoders was halted in late 2015 because of legal challenges to the policy. Over than 500 000 decoders had been produced and are kept in South African Post Office warehouses waiting for distribution. 

However, a number of set-top boxes have been distributed to residents in the SKA area of the Northern Cape and some border-lying areas. –