The telecommunication and broadcasting regulator in South Africa, ICASA, has requested Telkom to recall the lawsuit against the regulator over the completed spectrum auction process. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) made the statement during its court appearance in Pretoria. Yesterday, the High Court concluded that the analogue switch-off be delayed to the end of June.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Technologies, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, reported the departments’ intention to switch-off analogue TV signals on 31 March, ending dual illumination.
However, the date, 31 March, had been published in a gazette, even with the pending legal issues with e.TV about the digital broadcasting migration.
The broadcast station, e.TV, owned by eMedia, went to court to seek intervention from the government’s plans to accelerate the digital migration process.
The station stated that the decision to switch-off analogue on 31 March would put an end to free-to-air broadcasters.
ICASA has reportedly accepted the ruling of the Pretoria High Court on Monday, 28 March, regarding the digital migration case with e.TV and the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies.
ICASA is well aware that the High Court has removed an application by e.TV and other entities to prohibit the Minister from issuing the switch-off date unless the needy household, registered or not for set-top boxes, are given a set-top box.
The Minister welcomed the judgement, adding that she is delighted that the application by e.TV and other entities have been discharged with cost implications.
ICASA Chairperson, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng, indicated that the ruling brings assurance regarding digital migration in South Africa. The Chairperson urged Telkom to rethink its position on the lawsuit concerning the spectrum auction.