South Africa’s minister of communications and digital technologies Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has switched off the country’s last analogue transmitter, as part of plans to fully migrate to digital broadcasting by the end of March this year.
Ntshavheni switched off the transmitter in Limpopo state earlier this week. According to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), four of the country’s nine provinces – the Free State, Northern Cape, North-West and Mpumalanga – have already switched to digital.
Ntshavheni said: “All South Africans deserve a pleasant TV watching experience with a clear picture quality, more free-to-air channels and SABC radio stations of their choice, irrespective of where they are in the country. This is the last site that we are switching off in Limpopo in terms of analogue transmission.”
Explaining the rationale behind the analogue switch-off, Ntshavheni said: “We’re going to release the spectrum. We are giving these telecommunications mobile operators obligations to connect all the 18,000 schools to have access to the internet so that our children are not affected by not having access to the internet, not being able to learn, because now education is going digital. But we have also said we must connect all the clinics and all the hospitals.”
Limpopo economic development executive member Thabo Mokone added that the internet connectivity that will come with the digital migration will help in growing the provincial economy.
“When we have connectivity, when we have internet. It means that we’re on the road to creating more employment because people will have access to information, snd this assists them to be do a lot of things. As we gather here, we are told that 70 SMEs benefited from this process, and each one of them was able to connect almost 200 people. It means, therefore, that it’s the beginning of things to come.”