Muthambi said to run digital TV project - TechCentral

Muthambi said to run digital TV project

Communications minister Faith Muthambi (image: GCIS)

Communications minister Faith Muthambi (image: GCIS)

The ministry of communications, led by Faith Muthambi, will have responsibility for running South Africa’s digital terrestrial television migration project, a well-placed source has told TechCentral.

A presidential proclamation further clarifying the respective roles of the departments of communications and telecommunications & postal services is set to be published in the Government Gazette on Friday, the source says. The proclamation will make it clear that it is Muthambi and not her counterpart at telecoms, Siyabonga Cwele, who will lead the project, according to the source.

Muthambi’s spokesman, Ayanda Hollow, declined to comment ahead of the publication of the proclamation. “Let’s hear the presidency put the statement out. Let’s give the presidency space to put it up there.”

Cwele’s spokesman, Siya Qoza, could not be reached for comment.

TechCentral reported earlier this month that Zuma’s office was mulling issuing a new proclamation to determine the transfer of functions between the two departments. Zuma announced after the general election in May that the old department of communications would be split into the two new departments.

The Democratic Alliance has said the decision to split the departments has led to a turf war between Cwele and Muthambi.

Zuma’s decision to split the department has thrown South Africa’s already long-delayed digital television migration project into further disarray.

Siyabonga Cwele

Siyabonga Cwele

Delays in the project are holding up the allocation of radio frequency spectrum needed by telecoms operators to deliver next-generation mobile broadband to South African consumers.

Following the split of the old department of communications, a range of legislation has been assigned to the new department of communications. This includes the Broadcasting Act, the Film and Publications Act, the Media Development and Diversity Agency Act and, controversially, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act.

The SABC and government’s communications arm, GCIS, also report into the new department, prompting the DA and others to describe it as the “department of propaganda”.  – © 2014 NewsCentral Media


  1. She must be the 10th person this job has been assigned to. Seems to be a career ending task. Glad I have a dish, so when this happen I will probably be in my grave.

  2. The same person who was suspended in a previous job! Please employ real qualified people to do the freakin job than clock watchers!!!!!

  3. Run it into the ground! Will take another 5 years and 20 dealines until DTTV will ever see the light of day. Namibia is almost celebrating 10 years of DTTV and with the help of Multichoice Namibia it was established in a record time. Those two (pictured) are slow thinkers. lol

  4. I wouldn’t put this ANC clodhopper in charge of my garden furniture but Luthuli House sees her as a fit and proper person to run a massive national DIGITAL project.
    Muthambi’s English is poor to the point of incoherent so how is she going to even understand the high level ENGINEERING English that this project will carry a hell of a lot of?
    Another Zuma clone paid for by the taxpayers to help Zuma’s final path through his increasingly despotic and shaky rule.
    Don’t worry folks she’s so woefully incompetent she won’t be there for much longer, she will embarrass even the ANC cadre deployees.

  5. Shafiek Christian on

    The Honourable Davebee, please would you withdraw your statements, please withdraw your statement 🙂 LMAO, man these bunch of asses is taking this country and the Technology of this country whatever is left of it down the drain or would we say HELL. I say we support the opposition party in making a noise in the parliament and we start and uprising in the streets of all the provinces and say the president of this country is a liar a thief and a criminal ooops did I just say that. I am not withdrawing my statement lol.

  6. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Don’t worry folks she’s so woefully incompetent she won’t be there for much longer, she will embarrass even the ANC cadre deployees

    That’s only half true, and part of the ANC’s main problem – once one of these struggle buddies get on the gravy train, they’re there for life. No matter how spectacularly they fail, or red-handed they’re caught with their hand in the cash register, there are never any consequences, apart from a redeployment. Zuma keeps shuffling the deck chairs on the ANC Titanic, and every year brings a few more deck chairs on as he swells the size of the government.

  7. Even a very competent, well informed and decisive person in charge of this Digital Migration would find it impossible to make things work with the regulations and decisions as they stand now.
    This naive, simple woman is just going to fail spectacularly. Set up for failure by her ultra simple president and cabinet ministers.
    The idea that Gov must subsidise STBs for the poor and should be totally in control of the production and distribution of the majority of these receivers/decoders, combined that one must posses a valid TV license for obtaining one of those subsidised STBs is never, ever going to work out.
    Either these subsidised STBs will be distributed without TV license, or poorer households will opt for satellite TV by getting the cheapest Dstv package at R 29 per month, or OVHD.
    Apparently space TV is selling OVHD decoders for R 499 at the moment.
    Forget Sentech’s own Freeview Sat platform, they will never make a success of that.
    They sold a mere 50,000 to 60,000 Digital Vivid decoders over a period of about ten years. Freeview will be even more a failure.

  8. “Slow thinkers” ?? That is to put it mildly and diplomatically.
    They really do not care about the job at hand, as we might sometimes assume. They are just to fill the post and get their nice salaries and perks.
    They are just like Zoomer, they don’t give a hoot about the country or its people.
    When the country erupts in chaos and revolution, they will just get more security.

  9. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’re avoiding this mess by having a dish.

    The importance of Digital TV has less to do with TV, and way more to do with the digital dividend – scarce spectrum required for rolling out 4G/LTE and future iterations of wireless broadband technologies, which will only be freed up once analogue transmission is switched off. It’s all about broadband. Broadcast and digital TV is dying in the rest of the world, while we haven’t even got to the start line. Its now all about on-demand TV streamed over broadband connections. So having a dish doesn’t really save you from the cANCer’s cancerous cancer.

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