Digital TV to have public hearings

2012-08-14 14:37

After saying that there will be no public hearings over the latest draft regulations for digital terrestrial television (DTT) in South Africa, South Africa’s broadcasting regulator has now changed its mind and will have three days of public hearings next week.

After the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) told Channel24 that there won’t be any public hearings in an attempt to “speed up the process” of South Africa’s slow migration process to DTT, Icasa will now have public hearings from August 21-23.

Seventeen out of the 18 respondents who have made written submissions have implored Icasa to hold public hearings over the draft regulations.

The public hearings will consist of a big group of stakeholders, ranging from commercial and public broadcasters to community broadcasters and media groups all making oral representations before Icasa over the course of the three days.

Stakeholders and the public can also attend.

South Africa’s digital television switch-over is massively delayed despite the government and the department of communications constantly – since 2002 – insisting that the process “is on track”.

As several countries in Africa keep passing South Africa with the switch-over from analogue to digital broadcasting (the latest was Namibia in July) it appears that the latest October 2012 date for the switch-on, as stated by government at the beginning of the year, will also not be met.

None of the set-top boxes (STBs) needed by consumers will be available by October and none will be able to be sold commercially since no tenders have yet been awarded.

It takes at least three months for a STB to be manufactured according to specifications, and meanwhile the DTT regulations are still being debated.

The Right to Know Campaign, a public pressure group; as well as the SABC, e.tv, M-Net, TopTV and WowTV are set to give public feedback and make presentations before Icasa at the hearings.

On August 22, Kagiso Media, Ellipsis, DRM and the Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS), Primedia and Cape TV will make public presentations before Icasa on DTT.

The following day, Avusa, Highway Africa, SKA and Banzi-Net will appear before Icasa.

South African viewers are largely clueless about the massive impending change which will require them to buy a STB – which will cost about R700 – with a new antenna which will also be required in the majority of switch-over cases.

The government has made no announcements on specifically how the subsidy scheme for only the poorest households will be working, except to announce that the South African Post Office will be involved.

The government plans to subsidise the so-called “poorest of the poor” TV households only.


– Channel24

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.