Writer: Nthambeleni Gabara
milestone for SA
esidents in the core towns of the Square Kilometre Array
logue TV broadcasting is converted to and replaced by digital
(SKA) area became the first South Africans to enter the
digital broadcasting space in the country.
The SKA radio telescope in the Karoo is one of the biggest
To much applause, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi
international research infrastructures in the world and will
recently turned off the analogue television (TV) transmission
assist scientists all over the world to work towards answering
and more than 3 700 households in the towns of Carnarvon,
previously unsolved questions.
Vanwyksvlei, Brandvlei, Vosburg and Williston were successfully migrated to the much-awaited digital platform.
Analogue switch-off The Minister said the days of TV screens full of “snow” were over for the locals.
The analogue sunset in the SKA area is signalling the dawn of a fully digital age in which everyone can enjoy extra choice of more channels of perfect digital reception. The world is going through a TV revolution of migrating from analogue to digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting is far more efficient, allows better pic-
“We have moved from analogue to digital and this chapter
ture and sound quality. Once analogue transmissions are
has been closed in this area. We will be doing it in phases in all
switched off, a large amount of radio frequency spectrum
the nine provinces.
will be released, which can then be used for new broadcast-
“We are witnessing a historic moment with the transmission
ing and other communications services such as broadband.
of analogue signals for terrestrial TV being officially phased
Minister Muthambi said she was looking to complete the
out nationwide. “Turning off the analogue terrestrial TV transmission meant that a digitalised era of high-definition TV has come for our
process of migrating to the broadcasting digital system by December 2018.
people in the SKA area. Indeed, analogue TV transmissions in
Registration of set-top boxes
our country is fading,” added the Minister.
Residents living in the SKA community of Keimoes and Kai
The analogue switch off (ASO) is the process in which ana-
Garib in the Northern Cape were the first South Africans to
Public Sector Manager • December 2016 / January 2017