South Africa will start to switch off analogue TV transmitters next month

President Cyril Ramaphosa promised the completion of the long delayed digital migration process by the end of March 2022.

This formed part of numerous developments which Ramaphosa shared as part of his 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

South Africa initially planned to complete the digital migration process by November 2011, but incompetence, mismanagement, and corruption stalled it for over a decade.

The country missed one deadline after another, including the ITU’s international analogue broadcast switch-off deadline of 17 June 2015.

Ten years after the original analogue signal switch-off deadline, mobile operators are still waiting for the digital migration process to be completed and valuable broadband spectrum to be licensed.

Ramaphosa has now highlighted the importance of completing this process, saying it is “vital to our ability to effectively harness the enormous opportunities presented by technological change”.

“After many delays, we will begin the phased switch-off of our analogue TV transmitters from next month,” he said.

It is anticipated that this process, which will be done province-by-province, will be completed by the end of March 2022.

The President added that the process for the licensing of high demand spectrum is at an advanced stage.

“We hope that the ongoing litigation on the licensing matter will provide legal certainty and will not unduly delay the spectrum auction process,” he said.

Now read: South Africa’s lost decade

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South Africa will start to switch off analogue TV transmitters next month