Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has stated that state-sponsored set-top boxes will not be encrypted.
According to the City Press, Kubayi-Ngubane said she was unlikely to press for encrypted smart boxes.
“My main concern is that the encryption battle has dragged the whole DTT project,” she said.
The digital migration project has dragged on for years in South Africa, with a fight over whether the set-top boxes should be encrypted or not adding to the project’s woes.
“Yes, in meetings some people in the party prefer encrypted boxes, but the policy is clear. If I were to change any DTT policies now, I must justify the changes, consult the public, and possibly have matters hauled through courts of law. There simply isn’t time.”
South Africa’s latest deadline to complete the digital migration project is June 2019.
This follows former Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo committing to a December 2018 deadline, and South African missing its original deadline of 2011.
The international deadline, as determined by the International Telecommunication Union, was June 2015.
Kubayi-Ngubane’s latest statement comes after reports of MultiChoice allegedly trying to influence the government’s policy on set-top box encryption and multiple legal battles over the production of the set-top boxes.