SABC labels 31 March analogue switch-off as ‘premature’

28 Mar 2022

The South African government’s plan to switch off analogue TV broadcasts on 31 March has been labelled as ‘premature’ and an ‘unsustainable risk’ by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), TechCentral writes, citing a press release issued by the public broadcaster. Although the SABC has already switched off analogue broadcasts in five provinces, it said the remaining four – Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape – are home to 68% of South Africa’s population. As of last month, only 165,000 government-subsidised set-top boxes, out of 2.9 million indigent households, had been installed in these four provinces, representing 5.7% of the total. The SABC said: ‘The number is simply too low for the SABC’s analogue TV services to be switched off in the four largest provinces, at this stage.’ The organisation said that an ‘extension of the timetable will ensure no South African is left behind or denied access to free-to-air and public television services.’

South Africa