Communications Minister Dina Pule on Thursday said South Africa was a step closer towards migrating to a digital terrestrial television (DTT) regime with the start of the migration from analogue broadcasting to digital television.
The Department of Communications (DoC) was expected to switch on the digital signal in September 2012 and switch off the analogue signal in December 2013.
Sentech CEO Dr Setumo Mohapi reported that the national broadcasting signal coverage reached 61% of the population. Sentech had also achieved 96% coverage of Gauteng, 92% of the North West, 73% of the Western Cape, 33% of Mpumalanga, 31% of the Eastern Cape, 46% of the Free State, 30% of the Northern Cape, 45% of KwaZulu-Natal and 59% of Limpopo.
Sentech aimed to cover 74% of the population by September 2012 and 95% by the end of 2013.
“Sentech’s achievement is momentous as it 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 new exciting future of digital broadcasting,” said Pule.
The move to digital broadcasting would deliver much needed economic and social benefits to all citizens by stimulating economic growth and creating, and sustaining employment opportunities, particularly in the electronics manufacturing and distribution industry.
“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,” said Mohapi.