The South African Department of Communications and Digital Technologies has identified misinformation and fake news surrounding South Africa’s pending loss of free-to-air television.
According to reports, 14 million South Africans would lose free-to-air television after the department completes the digital migration on March 31, 2022.
According to the department, the misinformation seeks to create unwarranted anxiety about the end of the dual illumination period and the gazetted analogue switch-off date of March 31, 2022.
“At best, the notion that 14 million South Africans will lose free-to-air television is preponderant; at worst, it is a fabrication of the imagination.” Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, has been informing South Africans on the process of completing digital migration since October 5, 2021. Therefore, the facts that have previously been presented to South Africans are still valid.”
Ntshavheni underlined the government’s request for households earning less than US$232,19 per month who have not sought government assistance to do so at their nearest Post Offices or online, according to the department.
“As per previous information, the applying households would be assisted to migrate between 3 – 6 months after the analogue switch off.”
The department stated that the provincial analogue switch-offs in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and Western Cape had yet to occur. As a result, various teams, including Sentech, have deployed teams on the ground to continue assisting disadvantaged households in applying for assistance.
South Africa started its broadcast migration plan shortly after 2006 to reach it by 2011, but this was not to be.
Ntshavheni said in December 2021 that South Africa was on track to complete the long-delayed Broadcast Digital Migration to boost media services and free up the much-needed spectrum.