As per its Strategic Plan presented to the parliamentary portfolio committee on communications on 13 March in Cape Town, the Department of Communications has prioritised South Africa’s much delayed migration to digital terrestrial television (DTT) as a flagship project.
South Africa’s Digital Migration Policy will focus on implementing the set top box (STB) manufacturing strategy, scheme of ownership support for poor households, and the local and digital content development strategy.
The DOC will focus on implementing the consumer and education awareness campaign and monitoring the DTT infrastructure roll out to achieve 96% population coverage by 2013. DOC will also facilitate the implementation of the action plan to benefit SMMEs in the STB value chain – manufacture, distribution, installation and maintenance.
During the DTT migration, public content programming will be supported through public funding which will be requested from the National Treasury. Public broadcaster SABC will submit a clear funding request aligned to its mandate of public broadcasting in channels such as health and education. In the meantime government continues to fund the
SABC’s digital migration technology transition, including studio upgrades. Furthermore, the DOC will engage National Treasury on the SABC’s funding as a public broadcaster.
Also mentioned in the DOC Strategic Plan is the fact that with the advent of DTT, the SABC plans to introduce a fully fledged parliamentary channel as well as two channels reflective of the regions. (This is per the SABC Strategic Plan 20122/13.)