The South African Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT) says it is awaiting confirmation from the Constitutional Court for the final switch-off of South Africa’s remaining analogue TV signals.
The final switch-off is set for 30 June 2022, and communications minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said there are no expected delays.
During a media briefing, the minister said, “The analogue switch-off date has been moved to 30 June 2022 by the Gauteng High Court. However, no new date has been issued. We are awaiting the determination of the ConCourt.”
If you recall, in April 2022, E-tv-owner eMedia applied for leave to appeal the analogue switch-off dates with the Constitutional and Supreme Courts.
“We eagerly await the Constitutional Court decision on the analogue switch-off dates for us to conclude the broadcast digital migration process. This will allow us to release spectrum in the Western Cape, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal,” the minister stated.
The minister confirmed that the analogue switch-off in five provinces — North West, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Free State— had been completed.
“I must indicate that those provinces have fully migrated; therefore, Icasa will be able to release the high-demand spectrum in these provinces as of 1 July 2022,” she added.
“The release of the spectrum will enable telecommunications operators to unclog their networks through the deployment of 4G and 5G networks across the country,” she said.
She further explained that in recent times South Africans had experienced poor cellular connectivity due to high loads on mobile networks. This will start being resolved as of 1 July 2022 in the five provinces that have completed the transition to digital TV broadcasting.
The minister also said that the DCDT had completed installations of set-top boxes (STBs) in the Northern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga. However, the department is finalizing installations for Western Cape and the North West to verify completion status.
She further explained that her department had installed STBs in 44,424 households that were due for installation by 30 September 2022.