[South Africa] Parliament calls for acceleration of implementation of Broadcasting Digital Migration
The Portfolio Committee on Communications has raised a concern regarding the slow pace in the implementation of the Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) policy by the Department of Communications.
This, after the committee has learnt that the programme of migrating from analogue to digital terrestrial television in South Africa already is five years behind schedule, and out of approximately 4.7 million qualifying households, only 511 368 have been connected to the digital decoders.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Boyce Maneli, said: “The issue of inadequate funding to implement fully the programme is of serious concern, especially because everyone knows that the government does not have money. However, we would like to encourage the government to ensure speedy implementation as well as engaging the private sector as part of the social compact to leverage available resources.”
The committee has impressed upon the department to develop a timeline of key milestones that need to be reached before analogue switch off target of 2021, as set out by the Cabinet. “The timeline should then be presented to the committee as well as the estimated budget to complete the entire migration programme,” said Mr Maneli.
Meanwhile, the committee has welcomed the draft Performance Management System (PMS) of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, as it was presented by the department to the committee.
The PMS is developed in terms of section 6A (1) of the ICASA Act, number 13 of 2000 as amended, which requires the Minister, in consultation with the National Assembly to establish a PMS to monitor and evaluate the performance of ICASA Chairperson and other councillors.