Business Day reports that deputy director-general of the Department of Communications Sam Vilakazi last week told parliament that there was enough funding to at least begin the process of South Africa’s long planned migration from analogue broadcasting to digital terrestrial television (DTT).
Meanwhile, public broadcaster SABC has received only R138m of the R7bn it requested for its DTT project and signal distributor Sentech’s budget shortfall is reported to be R1.29bn.
Last month Minister of Communications Dina Pule announced that the commercial launch of DTT was scheduled for September this year. However, the specifications for the set top box (STB) required to decode the DTT signal are still awaiting finalisation before manufacturing can commence.
Vilakazi admitted to parliament that there was a possibility that there would not be enough funding to cover the entire DTT roll out process.
Cabinet previously set the deadline for the country’s analogue switch-off for December 2013 while the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) deadline for Africa is 2015, after which the analogue signal will no longer be protected.