New Minister hits the ground running with DTT campaign

Saturday, April 1, 2017
By Nthambeleni Gabara

Mahikeng – Newly appointed Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has hit the ground running on her first day in office by leading a door-to-door registration drive for the Set Top Boxes (STBs) at the border village of Ramatlabama, in the North West, where TV reception is poor.

Minister Dlodlo, who was sworn in to the National Executive last night and predecessor Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi were at the border village on Saturday, as part of government’s broadcasting digital migration public awareness campaign.

Ahead of the awareness campaign to educate the locals about the importance of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting system, the two Ministers visited the poor TV owning households at Miga and Ramatlabama settlements.

Several households in the border village are already connected to Set Top Boxes (STBs) and are now enjoying better quality TV with improved television reception and clear audio.

Speaking to reporters, Minister Dlodlo said the visit to the Ramatlabama was a real eye-opener. “It is almost like I am in a learning mission here…it was the first time to see the subsidised government STBs and how it works, that is gives our people an opportunity to enjoy more programmes from various television channels and more radio stations.”

The Communications Minister further described rolling out of STBs as the biggest step in the right direction, attributing the milestone to Minister Muthambi. “I think Minister Muthambi has done a tremendous job with regard to this programme,” she said.


Asked about ensuring stability at the Public broadcaster, Minister Dlodlo said: “there has to be stability at the SABC, we can’t have a public broadcaster where there is mass resignations, issues of governance, no we need to ensure that there is stability so that our people are given programmes and also quality services for them to make informed decisions and to know what is going on in the country and around the world”.

Minister Muthambi said she was part of the educational campaign to ensure that there is a smooth transition and that she strongly believes that Minister Dlodlo will continue with her digital migration legacy.

“We are here to officially hand over the DTT programme to Minister Dlodlo and with her energy, she is a seasoned cadre who is service delivery orientated. We are quite sure that what we’ve started is going to be completed. She just hit the ground running, she was sworn in last night, but today she is here with us. It’s an indication of her commitment to make sure that this programme is a success. The distribution of free STBs to the poor TV owning households is one of the achievements of our pro-poor government,” she said.

Asked if she is ready for her new job, Minister Muthambi said: “I am looking forward to my new responsibilities…I am also excited to be public servant number one.

“There is this concept that is there… Batho Pele…Putting People First, it is one campaign, … I am more excited to make sure that we have an effective and functional public service that is geared towards delivering to our people.

“Our people have given us the mandate to serve them, so as public servants, our responsibility is to serve the people of South Africa without fear or favour and I am ready to hit the ground running at a record pace”.

ITU deadline

Ahead of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) June 2015 deadline, Minister Muthambi had already consulted her counterparts in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique on the issue to mitigate cross border radio frequency spectrum interference.

The ITU is no longer providing any protection to broadcasters who failed to migrate from analogue to digital broadcasting.

DTT refers to the broadcast of the terrestrial television in digital format and local households need to purchase decoders known as STBs in order to switch from analogue to digital television as analogue has been switched off by the ITU on June 17, 2015. -

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