South Africa Govt. Is Committed To "Complete" Digital Broadcast Switchover By March 2021
South African communications and digital technologies minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has had to reconfirm her government commitment to complete the delayed digital migration programme by March 2021.
The minister was responding to a recent report showing that the programme may face further delays due to issues surrounding the licensing of the high-demand spectrum by the country's industry regulatory agency - the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (ICASA's).
Speaking to industry press, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says active consultation with ICASA is underway, and necessary interventions will be put in place to "mitigate challenges" and to have ICASA in the position where they are "ready to do the spectrum licensing".
The minister reiterated resolving the spectrum issues quickly and efficiently is crucial to the roll-out of the digital migration process, "which we are fast-tracking and want to make sure that by March 2021 we've made progress, even if we have not migrated all, but we should have 70%."
Industry analysts wonder if this too ambitious bar that the minister has set for the country, however, the minister is determined to get it right, saying, "We are in a rush as an entire country, not only for ourselves or to meet targets but because of the value-chain that we want our people to benefit from".