South Africa is a step closer towards migrating to a digital terrestrial television broadcasting regime, according to the Minister of Communications, Dina Pule, who has revealed that Sentech, the organisation responsible for rolling out the digital broadcasting network around the country, has now rolled out the digital network to 61 per cent of the population.
State-owned enterprise Sentech is the biggest distributor of television signal in the country, and currently carries all of the SABC, e-tv and the local and regional stations’ signals. Sentech has been tasked with rolling out the digital network on which the SABC and e-tv 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.
“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. The efforts of stakeholders such as Sentech are important to the realisation of this project,” said Pule.
“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 per cent digital signal coverage of the population coverage with all provinces at 30 per cent or more population coverage. In effect, 96 per cent of Gauteng, 92 per cent of North West, 73 per cent of Western Cape, 33 per cent of Mpumalanga, 31 per cent of Eastern Cape, 46 per cent of Free State, 30 per cent of the Northern Cape, 45 per cent of Kwazulu Natal and 59 per cent 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.