National treasury hasallocated R1bn to the Department of Communications over the next three years specifically for South Africa’s migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television.
The allocation will be divided between Sentech receiving about R622m; the Universal Service & Access Agency of SA (Usaasa), which is tasked with administering set-top (decoder) supply, R220m; and the SABC with the expected balance amount of about R158m.
Sentech is to use the R622m to build new broadcasting infrastructure using the digital standard. It will receive R279m in the next financial year, R169m in 2012/2013 and R176m in 2013/2014.
Usaasa has been allocated R220m for the subsidisation of the set-top boxes to enable the poor to receive digital television. Usaasa received R180m in 2010/2011.
For this current year, Sentech received R110m for the dual-illumination period when both analogue and digital signal broadcast occur together. In the next financial year Sentech will receive R120m for the same purpose.
The target for the digital transmission is December 2013.