South Africa’s big analogue TV switch-off begins

By Natasha Odendaal for Creamer’s Media Engineering News

The phased switch-off of South Africa’s analogue television transmitters has started and will continue province-by-province until the end of March 2022, when the last transmitters will be shut off in Gauteng.

The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies, together with broadcasters, implemented the phased switch-off in the Free State, starting with Boesmanskop and surrounding towns in the Xhariep district municipality on March 15 and Ladybrand and surrounding towns on March 16.

The switch-off in each province will be systematic and in phases, moving from one analogue transmitter coverage area to the other, until all district municipalities within the province are completed,” said Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

According to the project timeline estimations for the phased switch-off of analogue TV transmitters, the Free State will be switched off in March, followed by the Northern Cape in April, the North West, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape in May, KwaZulu-Natal in July, the Western Cape in November, Limpopo in December and Gauteng in January 2022.

“The department is collaborating with provincial governments and district municipalities to recruit local installers of government-subsidised decoders in order to accelerate the implementation of the broadcasting digital migration.”

“As it is in the interest of the country that the broadcasting digital migration is completed to free up much-needed spectrum, we are redoubling our efforts to accelerate the project,” Ndabeni-Abrahams concluded.

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