Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo met with broadcasters on July 6, following the June 8 court ruling on digital migration. The meeting was held with broadcasters SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation), Etv, StarSat and other stakeholders of the digital terrestrial television (DTT) programme.
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said June 8 Constitutional Court ruling paved the way for the Minister to make a decision in regard to the encryption or non-encryption of set-top-boxes, which are need for the switch from analogue television.
The GCIS said the meeting is a step closer to ensure that the Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) process can be implemented without delay. “The aim is to ensure that all affected stakeholders jointly come up with a plan that will assist government to meet its obligation to ensure that South Africans are migrated from analogue to digital television platforms by December 2018,” said the GCIS.
The court upheld the appeal by former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi against the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal, which ruled that the process by which the Minister amended the BDM policy in March 2015 was invalid and therefore unlawful.
The ruling means that the subsidised set-top boxes that the government has earmarked for five million poor households can now go ahead. Over than 500 000 decoders had been produced and are kept in South African Post Office warehouses waiting for distribution.
However, a number of set-top boxes have been distributed to residents in the SKA area of the Northern Cape and some border-lying areas.