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South Africa: “No digital interference”

South Africa’s Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says that the country’s TV viewers will not face broadcasting disruption despite the nation not having adopted digital transmission in time for the June 17th digital deadline.

“As we have indicated before, our country is not in a position to migrate to the digital platform by this date,” Muthambi said, in a report in the Cape Times newspaper.

Muthambi said her ministry had conducted a risk mitigation analysis with the department’s digital migration programme management office, and this had established that the most immediate television signal interference threat would come from outside the borders of the country.

A number of measures had been taken to reduce this risk, and she had signed agreements of co-operation with Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. She was finalising agreements with Namibia and Zimbabwe.

She said the purpose was to harmonise the use of the radio frequency spectrum while the countries underwent digital migration to ensure that there was not interference.  “All these countries are assured that June 17 will come and go without any major negative impact on their analogue television services.”

The digital migration project was still a priority and the project management office was working to ensure that set-top boxes were manufactured and delivered to complete the migration process.

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