[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ommunications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo will today meet broadcasters following the 8 June constitutional court ruling on digital migration.
The meeting will be held with broadcasters SABC, e.tv, StarSat and other stakeholders in the digital terrestrial television (DTT) programme.
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on Wednesday said the 8 June judgment paved the way for the minister to make a decision regarding the encryption or non-encryption of set-top-boxes, which are required to convert digital broadcasting signals on analogue TV sets.
“The meeting is a step closer to ensuring that the broadcasting digital migration process is implemented without delay.
“The aim is to ensure that all affected stakeholders jointly come up with a plan that will assist government to meet its obligation to ensure that South Africans are migrated from analogue to digital television platforms by December 2018,” said GCIS.
The court upheld the appeal by former communications minister Faith Muthambi against the judgment of the supreme court, which ruled that the process by which the minister amended the migration policy in March 2015 was invalid and therefore unlawful.
The ruling means that the subsidised set-top boxes that government has earmarked for five million poor households can now go ahead. Production of the first batch of 1.5m decoders was halted in late 2015 because of legal challenges to the policy. Over than 500 000 decoders had been produced and are kept in Post Office warehouses waiting for distribution.
However, a number of set-top boxes have been distributed to residents in the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope area of the Northern Cape and some border areas. — SANews