The minister of communications, Dina Pule
, announced yesterday, Thursday, 12 April 2012 that Sentech
, the organisation responsible for rolling out the digital broadcasting network around the country, has now rolled out the digital network to 61% of the population, reportedly making South Africa the first country to implement full public broadcasting services on the DVB-T2
Sentech has been tasked with rolling out the digital network on which the SABC and eTV broadcasting is dependent. The Department of Communications, which is responsible for migrating the country to digital terrestrial television broadcasting, is committed to switching on the digital signal around September 2012.
Digital migration process
"The group's achievement represents a significant milestone in the digital migration process. Without a digital network of transmitters, we will never be able to take the country into the exciting future of digital broadcasting. The efforts of stakeholders such as this are important to the realisation of this project," said Pule.
The migration to digital broadcasting will bring better quality picture and sound to the consumers. It will also enable more channels to be available, increase the choice for consumers. The migration process is also expected to create and sustain jobs in the electronics manufacturing industry, the distribution, installation and maintenance of decoders and in the local content development.
"Economic, social benefits"
"We believe that the move to digital broadcasting will deliver the much needed economic and social benefits to all citizens by stimulating economic growth and creating employment opportunities. As at 31 March 2012, Sentech had achieved 60% digital signal coverage of the population coverage with all provinces at 30% or more population coverage. In effect, 96% of Gauteng, 92% of North West, 73% of Western Cape, 33% of Mpumalanga, 31% of Eastern Cape, 46% of Free State, 30% of the Northern Cape, 45% of KwaZulu-Natal and 59% of the Limpopo population are covered," said Sentech CEO, Dr Setumo Mohapi.
"We are excited to be part of this key milestone in the broadcasting industry and we shall ensure that all affected broadcasters are migrated within the stipulated Government timelines. This will be implemented through a regional migration approach," he said.