Communication Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has defended delays in implementing digital migration (DTT).

She says one of the reasons is because a few people have registered to receive the set top boxes.

Ndabeni-Abrahams was speaking on SABC’s Morning Live programme. She says the Free State will be the first province to switch to digital television this year.

“We have lots of boxes in our warehouse, we’ve been calling upon South Africans, the deserving ones, those that have household income of less than R3 200, to go and register in their post offices, so that we can have the database and they can access the boxes, there’s been a low uptake of the boxes.”

Ndabeni-Abrahams is optimistic that the SABC will be ready for the migration. “We have faith the SABC will be able to meet the obligation that has been shown to us by the board and the management it gives us hope that indeed with our assistance and treasury SABC is up to the task.”

The process of migrating broadcasting signals from analogue to digital began in the year 2000.

Delays to switch off the analogue broadcasting system led to the country missing an implementation deadline set by the International Telecommunications Union in June 2017.

Supply chain management irregularities and collusion issues were cited as some of the reasons for this.

Government has previously said successful migration will help increase the competitiveness of the South African economy, create jobs and build social cohesion.

Watch the full interview…