The DA has called on Jacob Zuma to remove Communications Minister Faith Muthambi from managing the Broadcasting Digital Migration policy.
“Minister Muthambi is about to fail to meet her own deadline of concluding the migration from analogue to digital broadcasting in the Northern Cape by 1 January 2016,” said the party.
The Northern Cape was to receive 16,000 set-top boxes in the first phase of the government’s digital migration plan.
This is now “materially impossible”, said the DA, because:
- No government-ordered STBs which went into production in August/September, have reached USAASA which is managing the programme.
- Only 2,074 – of the 2,336 applications – have qualified for free decoders. The remainder have failed to qualify because they do not have valid TV licences.
- Muthambi’s October announcement that she requested the Treasury to investigate the decoder procurement process means USAASA is uncertain whether to halt the production process.
“I am told that USAASA has written to Minister Muthambi asking for direction on this issue but there has been none forthcoming,” said the DA.
“This lack of political leadership and policy missteps by Muthambi that has seemingly stalled the perpetually-failing transition to Digital Terrestrial Television broadcasting may be behind the sudden resignation of USAASA chairperson Pumla Radebe.”
“The DA believes that no South African should be excluded from the global digital economy due to government’s lack of strategic implementation.”