South Africa’s digital migration: Analogue switch off by 30 June

South Africa’s Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is working towards concluding the analogue switch-off by the end of next month, Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said on Wednesday.

According to Minister Ntshavheni, when she tabled the department’s budget vote before a mini plenary of the National Assembly.

She said the Broadcast Digital Migration process is a critical digital transformation step that redefines the ICT path for South Africa.

We are happy to update honorable members that we are working towards concluding the analogue switch-off by the 30th of June 2022, and this is after the Gauteng High Court ruled in support of the conclusion of the programs [and] extended the time for the Minister to complete the installation of Set-Top-Boxes for qualifying households who applied for government support by 31 October 2021,” she said.

Ntshavheni said the department’s R2.7 billion budget does not make transfer provisions to signal distributor SENTECH for the migration of digital signals and dual illumination costs relating to the digital migration.

This was because the department has achieved a 100 percent digital network coverage and it has satisfied all Broadcast Digital Migration Policy conditions and regulatory requirements that warrant the end of the dual illumination period.

She said in addition to the 100 percent digital network coverage in South Africa, the digital migration program has achieved several other milestones, including the switching off 100 percent or 84 M-Net analogue sites; 52 percent or 163 of 314 SABC analogue sites and 9% or 8 of 93 analogue sites.

Other milestone achievements are the conclusion of analogue switch-off in five provinces, (Free State, Northern Cape, Northwest, Mpumalanga and Limpopo); the pending Set-Top Boxes installations in the nine provinces up to the end of May, and the Analogue Switch Off program support to more than 987 installer companies and has created more than 14 800 jobs for locals, predominantly young installers.