SA flounders as TV deadline looms - TechCentral

SA flounders as TV deadline looms

Duncan-McLeod-180-profileNext year was meant to be a big one for South Africa’s technology industry. Years ago, under the Mbeki administration, the government agreed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that the country would switch off analogue terrestrial television broadcasts by 17 June 2015.

Countries worldwide agreed to the deadline as part of an initiative to free up spectrum — the “digital dividend” in the 700MHz and 800MHz bands — for mobile broadband.

Many countries, including some in Africa, have already completed their migration projects. Last week, Kenya was lauded by the GSMA, an association that represents the mobile industry, for announcing it will switch off analogue signals in March 2015, beating the ITU deadline by months.

South Africa’s digital migration project, by contrast, has stumbled from farce to tragedy. The country will miss the June deadline. Indeed, the country might not even have started commercial digital broadcasts by then, let alone switched off analogue signals. The economic cost of these delays runs into the billions, according to the GSMA.

Instead of moving to fast-track the long-delayed project, President Jacob Zuma did possibly the most damaging thing he could have: he removed his hard-working communications minister, Yunus Carrim, and split the department of communications in two, leading to a protracted turf war between two new ministers, Siyabonga Cwele and Faith Muthambi, over who should run migration.

Since the May election, almost nothing has happened to advance this crucial project.

The characteristics of the broadcasting spectrum that will be freed up mean it is ideally suited for delivering broadband in more rural parts of the country and doing so profitably. Conspiracy theorists have suggested the never-ending delays in digital migration are a ploy by the ANC to keep the Internet — and, by extension, information — out of the hands of the rural poor, who it will increasingly rely on to keep it in power. But I don’t buy that. This is a tale of government incompetence, not some Machiavellian plot.

Of course, it would appear that expanding control over the SABC’s current affairs programming was at the heart of Zuma’s hasty and poorly thought through decision to split the communications department in two, creating what some critics have labelled the “department of propaganda” under Muthambi, the new communications minister. That the SABC now reports to the same minister as the Government Communication and Information System is clearly problematic. How much longer will it be before Zuma emulates PW Botha by calling the SABC newsroom directly when the news isn’t to his liking? Heck, the president probably already has Hlaudi Motsoeneng on speed dial.

But back to digital migration. In a presidential proclamation last week — the second since the election — Zuma set out more clearly the delineation between the telecommunications & postal services department and the new department of communications. Muthambi will lead the digital TV project. That decision only took seven months — there are six months left to the ITU deadline.

President Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma

The first thing Muthambi needs to admit is that there is no way South Africa will meet the deadline. Many other African nations will beat us to the punch. They will grow their economies more quickly than us because they will allocate the digital dividend to telecoms operators before we do. But missing the ITU deadline is no excuse not to get the project completed as fast as possible.

Firm leadership is required to deal with the war between e.tv and MultiChoice over whether set-top boxes, which consumers will need to receive digital broadcasts, should use encryption. Encryption is a bad idea and ideally should be scrapped, but if it has to be included to get the project done faster, MultiChoice should be persuaded, in the interests of the country, not to take the matter to court. Carrim’s proposals in this regard were far from ideal, but were workable.

Muthambi must then set out the dates when key targets will be met, including when digital broadcasts will be switched on and when analogue broadcasts will be terminated. This period of “dual illumination”, during which time consumers are expected to buy set-top boxes, needs to be as short as possible. And these deadlines must be kept. Unfortunately, history suggests they won’t be.

  • Duncan McLeod is editor of TechCentral. Find him on Twitter
  • This column, which is also published in the Sunday Times, will return on 11 January

59 Comments

  1. Sad to see this experienced author has swallowed the GSMA position hook line and sinker. Of course the mobile sector would love everyone to think that they are the only way to affordable ubiquitous broadband. But they’re not. In fact if we rely on them we will have expensive patchy broadband for many years to come.

    Naturally the mobile operators have a duty to their shareholders to squeeze as much revenue as possible from the billions invested in old pre-Internet technologies and to try to ensure that their costly next-gen LTE systems are seen as the only real alternative. This helps maintain the spectrum and technology monopoly they need for revenue security. But there are viable alternatives that can be used right now, based on Wifi and shared/dynamic spectrum use such as TV White Space. We don’t have to wait for digital migration – these technologies can be used right now to meet connectivity needs. However expect the mobile operators to object to these vociferously – we need a strong and savvy regulator…..maybe one day..

  2. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >> there are viable alternatives that can be used right now, based on Wifi and shared/dynamic spectrum use such as TV White Space.

    Fully agree… the broadcasters also need to realize this as well; and position themselves accordingly to be able to take triple play offerings to the marketplace and secure themselves broadband spectrum because the telcos will most definitely be securing themselves content deals for distribution that will be more favorable to consumers than the current linear offering from broadcasters.

    >> Sad to see this experienced author has swallowed the GSMA position hook line and sinker.

    Can’t agree with you on that one…

    >>But I don’t buy that. This is a tale of government incompetence, not some Machiavellian plot.

    and the reference later to the main problem…

    >>Firm leadership is required to deal with the war between ETV and MultiChoice over whether set-top boxes, which consumers will need to receive digital broadcasts, should use encryption. Encryption is a bad idea and ideally should be scrapped,

    are clear indications of an article which is seeking a solution to a tragic tale of incompetence and situation between two broadcaters that needs to be addressed most urgently;

    TV White Spaces may well be the answer along with scrapping the whole STB subsidy scheme and having an open standard digital TV swap-out program with manufactures being incentivized to locally produce and refurbish TV sets which are the units which will be becoming obsolete.

    STBs are for additional added value services such as those from the likes of Multichoice; and the government doesn’t need to be involved in the STB business. ETV is just wanting a free ride and is not willing to incur the investment costs of becoming a Multichoice.

  3. It’s not Faith Muthambi’s fault people, it’s all the result of Apartheid these many decades ago. That ogre of racial suppression of the masses, PW Botha engineered this 350 years of slavery in the analogue space to persevere into the glorious Democratic Revolution in the digital space. Even today the racial separation and slavery of Analogueism is the never ending legacy of the previous regime and Faith and Cwele are it’s innocent victims just as those who drive those obscenely expensive German sedans are it’s victims at Megawatt Park.
    Viva multicultural spectrumism! Forward to a crony driven set-top box TV future, Viva!

  4. If old showerhead can blame the current blackouts on apartheid, then I guess the deadline which is going to be missed by miles will also be apartheids fault…

  5. The GSMA is mentioned in passing. The story is about how the SA government committed to a strategy and deadline, but is now failing spectacularly.

  6. If you’re looking for a conspiracy, the one party set to gain from all this is Multichoice (A.K.A. no-choice).

  7. All indications are the way ANC and Zuma are currently running the country will tell you the outcome! Say no more!

  8. Greg Mahlknecht on

    If you’re looking for a conspiracy, then I think that you need to look at the ANC and Number One. It can’t be a coincidence that anything vaguely related to open and uncontrolled communication channels to the voting public is put in the hands of struggle buddies that have zero chance of delivering said services. ANC has to be terrified of an informed voting public; someone who knows the facts and can make an intelligent decision will probably not vote for ANC. Just look at Zuma’s recent “Eskom’s problems are from apartheid” BS… anyone who is even VAGUELY informed of the facts can spot it as a giant load of crap a mile away, yet I’m betting the ANC base believe it religiously.

  9. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    It also doesn’t take much to spot a fork tongued juDAs who rambles on without a real plan believing that criticism will somehow win over the multitudes of informed masses that will always fully support the best party to rule our country.

    Do you honestly believe that there are people without enough intellect to make up their minds as to where to place their vote on a ballot paper?

    Then you’re a lot more stupid than what I’d previously thought.

    Communication was not controlled by the ANC during the previous regime and the systems that have always served the ANC proved to be way more influential and that continues to be the case as most of the media relentlessly seeks to discredit our government… but as the numbers at the polls will always indicate – people are not fooled by any juDAs.

  10. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Do you honestly believe that there are people without enough intellect to make up their minds as to where to place their vote on a ballot paper

    You have COMPLETELY missed my point. My point was that they don’t have the information to make an informed choice. You make a living from media – you should know more than most that the poorer you are, the less choice you have in where you get your information from.

    > most of the media relentlessly seeks to discredit our government

    BWAHAHAH… No, Vusi – they do an amazing job of that themselves, the media just need to write up the stories. The current administration is an utter JOKE with the rampant incompetence and corruption and the unwillingness and/or ability for Number One to rectify it. There might well be hard working and competent cadres in the ANC, but their work is drowned out by the damage done around them by their peers.

    Just as an aside – do you agree with Zuma that Eskom’s current predicament is to be blamed on Apartheid? I’m curious as to how deeply you drink the ANC Kool-Aid.

  11. As Vusi correctly states, there is no need at all for any subsidies on STBs.

    OV HD Decoders are now nationwide on sale for R 499, and the whole DTT can be scrapped actually.

    So the webpage you refer to gives us tender documents, and reveals there is now a ”

    Digital Migration Subsidies

    Building 1, Thornhil Ofice Park

    94 Beker Road, Vorna Valey, Midrand ”

    Stop this subsidy, close USAASA and sell their buildings.
    and just stop the analogue signal in June 2015.

  12. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Erm, wouldn’t you need to subsidize the OVH decoders? And who’s going to pay for those millions of satellite dishes that need to be installed?

    The DTT infrastructure is more or less built and paid for. Why not use it, and save billions for consumers by letting them get cheaper decoders?

    Then we still have the problem of losing out on the digital dividend. While I disagree with the mobile providers that it’s a current bottleneck in their service delivery, it’s most certainly needed years down the line. Or do you suggest we just write off everything spent on the DTT infrastructure and then pull the plug on the analogue infrastructure too?

  13. The announcement of the tender is a significant event in the unfolding drama of digital migration in South Africa. Sure there are a lot of cart and horse sequencing issues here, but a fire has certainly just got lit under someone’s posterior.

    The tender briefing was some two weeks ago now, and I’ve been surprised at the total lack of coverage and comment from Tech Central.

    At the briefing it was declared that the government estimates that 4 million plus households are going to need a subsidised terrestrial receiver. That is a lot of households who will be without television, something they took for granted, were the switch off to happen suddenly.

    Guessing at the economic demographic of the majority of those households, I suspect that a “cheap” R500 decoder is not actually within easy reach, and the government is compelled to run a subsidy programme of some sort.

    There is sure to be lots of interesting debate, commentary, the usual incompetencies, mud slinging, the surprising progress despite it all and so on and so on the next few months!

  14. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>I’m curious as to how deeply you drink the ANC Kool-Aid.

    I’m curious as to where your “Maak ‘n Plan” brain disappeared to…??? is the answer to cut-off non paying kettle boilers or is there a business opportunity to develop a system that can provide power to such communities and also not be vulnerable to theft?

    We can have an online poll tomorrow and lets – for fun sake label it juDAs vs cANCer; and I guarantee you that I will drive tons more traffic to vote cANCer which will be people with online access that have the information to make an informed choice.

    Why don’t you face the fact that the real problem is that the DA has absolutely no plan that will ensure that it can get the masses to vote for them irrespective of who controls communication.

    Would you apply a strategy in your business that seeks to claim all the glory of your competitor and then focus your marketing on how stupid the consumer is for making the choice to go with the competition’s product?

    How’s that for some DA Kool-Aid? I bet you’re ready to launch your new marketing campaign right away at take your business down the same road too.

  15. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>Or do you suggest we just write off everything spent on the DTT infrastructure and then pull the plug on the analogue infrastructure too?

    We will now obviously need to set our own timetable because pulling the plug on analogue won’t happen in 6 months. The DTT infrastructure’s value can be for both the broadcasters and the consumer to decide in the marketplace.

    If more people are opting to go DTH rather than DTT then all the more reason to re-consider spectrum allocation in favor of more broadband services. The broadband services in any-case will be having on-demand content offerings that are bound to eclipse the linear broadcast offerings.

    Why even bother with the subsidy plan if its going to open another huge can of corruption worms… the hybrid broadcast technologies that already exist as well as the viable alternatives that can be used right now, based on Wifi and shared/dynamic spectrum use such as TV White Space can all be utilized whilst we assess the market’s preferred option between DTH and DTT.

  16. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Very nicely done. You avoided answering the question. Mac Maharaj would be proud, saying a lot of nothing and making excuses for Number One!

    You might have a career in politics. Well, ANC politics, anyway.

  17. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Why even bother with the subsidy plan if its going to open another huge can of corruption worms

    The subsidy is a necessary evil that is part of the migration process, and we can’t give up on it just because the government is corrupt, and it’s very disturbing that even loyal ANC supporters don’t think their party can achieve it without corruption (although at the same time it is encouraging that the extent of the corruption problem is being recognized at last)! At some point we have to get these guys off analogue signals, whether it’s to DTH or DTT or whatever.

  18. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Well, I take it that’s a no to the online poll challenge.

    Very nicely avoided… being in business in the field, I guess you realize that it’s no coincidence that the ANC would win an award for a Mxit app; and like the author of this article, you also don’t buy your own BS. So a loss to the ANC is something that you can stomach only once every 5 years.

    The systems employed on the ground by the ANC lend themselves very well to social media and we would absolutely crush any opposition once we have the entire population connected (Those ego maniacs still think that chasing after time on broadcast media is a ticket to influencing the masses).

    Perhaps this is also a good opportunity to give a word of advice, in the kind of language appropriate to those still living in the dream world of the Rainbow Matrix:

    No one looking for freedom is going to be swallowing the blue juDAs pill; and you just need to look across the border to see where the red pill of the EFF will be taking you.

    In the real Rainbow Nation; the multi-coloured, green, gold and black pill of the ANC is the best answer. Everyone knows that cANCer can be treated and in most instances, even cured when discovered early enough. There is definitely no place for a juDAs agenda and an EFF agenda will send us to ruins.

    So, find your Maak ‘n Plan brain and together lets make South Africa a better place for all its people.

  19. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>At some point we have to get these guys off analogue signals, whether it’s to DTH or DTT or whatever.

    This is going to be a repeat of the classic VHS vs Betamax saga playing itself out right here in SA and I think the winner may very well be DTH thanks to DStv.

    >>The subsidy is a necessary evil that is part of the migration process

    If the subsidy is going to be for installation of DTH systems thereby creating genuine business opportunities that result in people getting employed; and open standard digital TV manufacturing plants also being setup to enable un-encrypted FTA broadcast signals, then by all means.

    I’m not so sure that things are going to play out in the most ideal way however, since ETV has handed most of the power to Multichoice and they are now in the best possible position to steer things forward in their own favor and that hasn’t always been for the consumers’ best interests nor for BEE businesses.

  20. There is absolutely no need to subsidise these STBs at all. This has been from day one my major gripe with this whole Digital Dzonga, as it was called in the days of the General, Siphiwe Nyanda as clueless “leader” of our broadcasting and telecoms sector.
    TV is NOT a primary necessity of life, and people can EARN some money to reward themselves with the luxury of this service.

    I am residing in a small rural town, which never had a Sentech analogue VHF/UHF tv signal. Some individuals and the municipality put a repeater station on a hillside some decades ago. Tested it in 2001, and only gave SABC 1 and 2. And one of these was even a terribly snowy picture. Plus Mnet. I do not think it is working anymore.
    Everybody, incl most houses in “die lokasie ” have a dish. My part-time gardener has the most affordable Dstv Easyview package. I helped him to pay it one year in advance, in order to get some discount. Actually, I was hoping that with the DTT Sentech might put up a proper repeater station in this town.
    And I agree fully with Duncan in the main article that the DVB-T2 signal should be kept as unencrypted as possible. In order that built in tuners in new TVs could be used, without the need for separate STBs.
    As the debacle, Digital Disaster continues with endless squabbles and indecision, I thought it would be wiser to scrap DTT all together. It would mean that a part of the R 2.5 to 3 Billion that Sentech spent on installing the stuff on their towers will be lost. But will save R 5-8 Billion for this massive STB manufacturing and subsidy program, that no doubt will riddled with corruption, cadre enrichment and unimaginable bureaucratic inefficiencies.
    And Gov will never be able to force beneficiaries of the subsidized STBs to pay up their TV licenses. This is an utter lie and joke.It will be a 10 Billion Digital Disaster this Digital Dzonga.
    Even that now indigent households receive 50 or in some places even 100 kWh free power for mahala and 6 kL of water, most people do not pay at all for these services.
    The Municipal Manager of this Boeredorpie admitted recently to me that 85% of households are not paying municipal rates and taxes, nor electricity. So they roughly doubled the taxes for the 15% that pay.

  21. The 10 Billion Rand Digital Disaster, waiting to be rolled out. Read my other post on this page.

  22. There is a plethora of alternative options than DSTV some are directly through the net! Wiziwig.tv currently has so many sport stations and you only pay for an internet connection! There are also great shows Charlie Rose e.g. as well. We being duped for sub content and over exploitation everyone needs to wake up! As the fuel prices are down 42% and that is not reflected in what we pay at the pump!

  23. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Well, I take it that’s a no to the online poll challenge

    I’ll do that when you answer my question first. You don’t get to avoid questions by political rhetoric. You need to be elected to office first, to do that.

    I just skimmed the rest of your post for “Eskom”, it didn’t seem to have anything to do with the question, so I ignored it.

    The only gem I caught on to was:

    > Everyone knows that cANCer can be treated and in most instances, even cured when discovered early enough

    Actually.. everyone knows the only cure to cancer is to remove it totally. It’s encouraging that you recognize the ANC is like a cancer though.

  24. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Well I’m happy that the people you your “lokasie” can afford it, my gardener and maid certainly couldn’t! It’s a little double-standards that you say nobody needs subsidies, yet subsidised your own gardener.

    >But will save R 5-8 Billion for this massive STB manufacturing and subsidy program

    We can agree the manufacturing portion is a disaster, but if we go ahead with DTH, you realise that even more will be spent on manufacturing/deploying DTH? The change in tech isn’t the important thing here, the change in the implementation of the STB sourcing and roll-out is.

    >And Gov will never be able to force beneficiaries of the subsidized STBs to pay up their TV licenses

    This isn’t going to change whether it’s DTT or DTH.
    I’ve always been vocal about the fact this should be open standards with no CA… this way, TVs currently sold already have DTT in them, and will in the future for free, and the TV manufacturers will do all the hard work.

    >TV is NOT a primary necessity of life

    I agree, but a basic communications service to the public is, especially in this day and age – which is why I am against CA being mandated in the DTT spec, but am all for getting a basic free service to all residents – and this should all be built in to the TV, so you take it out the box and it just works without buying anything extra – and DTT is the only option for this. At a worst case scenario you just take the bundled antenna and stick it near a window with prestik.

  25. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Does that mean you have a way of totally removing HIV Dr Mahlknecht? Yet we all know that there is treatment…

    …Please try and be more smart with your response to this one; because I can definitely see a huge possibility of, in true juDAs style, offending a whole lot of people that you claim you have their best interests at heart.

  26. Greg Mahlknecht on

    Uh… I was just pointing out how stupid your cANCer metaphor was, not sure why you brought HIV in to it? Usual response from you – deflection upon defeat.

  27. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    BTW Greg… what does Zuma & Eskom have to do with the TV deadline; not so smart are we now Dr Mahlknecht.

    You will always be the loser and the ANC will rule till the second coming… thanks for choosing to deviate from the topic.

  28. Greg, I only advanced the R 319 for his yearly sub, and deducted it from his wages. So no charity. He works actually 3 days a week quite hard, ten times harder as the workers for the municipality. And has a basic wage not much more than the minimum wage for domestics.
    And he not only maintains, but has considerably improved an area of more than 10,000 square m. My garden and orchard, surrounding unpaved roads and verges, and an empty neighbouring plot, which he is turning slowly but surely in a smooth soccer pitch with a thick lawn. And over the last ten 14 years we have planted more than 60 trees on surrounding municipal ground.
    Now back to DTT, Agree with you on most points, but have not seen your further arguments for subsidy on STBs.
    Part of the latest policy or guidelines on DTT are that recipients of subsidised STBs will have to show a valid TV licence, and I honestly cannot see this happen. And even if they pay up once, will they keep on paying ?
    At the moment, only around 30 to 35 % of households have a valid TV license. So scrap it all together.

    And SA’s treasury, municipalities, Eskom, SANRAL are all close to bankrupcy, so spending so much money on a totally unnecessary, inefficient and possibly corrupt STB manufacturing and subsidy program is just sheer madness.

  29. Greg Mahlknecht on

    As I said – I brought it up to gauge how much of a lapdog you were. I didn’t realise you’d avoid the question so much! I have my answer, thanks, and you proved my point beautifully – you deviated soooo far from my original question, that you forgot what it was – it’s supposed to make ME forget the original issue. You’re doing it wrong. Study your intrepid leader more. He’s the master at this.

  30. Greg Mahlknecht on

    My point stands – he works hard 3 days a week and still needs your help. I help both my maid and gardener out with school fees and school supplies (in the form of a gift, not loan). If they can’t afford to pay for their own childrens education there’s no way in hell they can afford to get a dish installed by themselves and buy a STB. And what about the millions of unemployed? They have zero chance of it.

    As an aside: sounds like you’re underpaying your amazing gardener 🙂

    > have not seen your further arguments for subsidy on STBs

    My only argument is that I feel it’s VERY Important for the public to have a way to be informed on what’s happening to their country, and I think that single fact is important enough in a democracy to justify spending billions to get them hooked up. The fact that SABC is totally useless is besides the point, we can hope that a better platform will bring better information from other sources. Sure, we could say that radio fills that gap, but in this day and age, if the best your citizens can hope for is radio then wow – we’re setting our standards pretty low.

    >Part of the latest policy or guidelines on DTT are that recipients of subsidised STBs will have to show a valid TV licence

    I agree… scrap the TV license. If the government could recover just a small fraction of money lost to corruption, it would pay for that many times over. SABC has said that they don’t plan (and constitutionally can’t) use CA to enforce TV licenses, I don’t know when that changed, but it doesn’t change the fact there shouldn’t be one in the first place.

  31. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Read this well written article over again. Its content elements are put together with an intended desired outcome… this is what seasoned writers and good content creators do.

    I’ve studied you well enough to know the desired outcome when I write and setup a line with treat followed by cure in certain instances; in the use of the selected content metaphors I choose and you never disappoint with your response… I can say this with absolute certainty – You are not as smart as I had previously thought.

  32. Even the most optimistic patriot has to have his resolution waiver in the face of constant news like this.

  33. Greg Mahlknecht on

    I’ve pretty much given up on the ANC getting their act together, my optimism is turned toward the fact that ANC is losing ground, while the opposition is gaining. It’s only a matter of time until the graphs cross, and we won’t even have to wait for Jesus!

  34. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    Perhaps when you do find your Maak ‘n Plan brain then you won’t always find yourself falling into a trap that exposes you for the fork tongued juDAs that you really are…

    I really am having a lot of fun so lets keep this going.

    …when are we going to setup that online Poll? I was thinking that we should also add the “red kinder garden” just to spice things up and see how it all turns out.

  35. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    And how exactly do you foresee that happening with the proportional representation system that we have in-place smart guy…???

    Lets see if unlike the DA, you have a real plan other than wishful thinking – can’t wait for you to outline when and how this dream will come true…

    There’s a lot of DA hopefuls counting on a sound response from you on this one, so once again, try and find your Maak ‘n Plan brain before responding.

  36. Greg Mahlknecht on

    DA increased their voting base by 33% last election. Most from non-whites. It’s just a matter of time. They seem to have a plan and are executing on it beautifully! I know you’re not big on facts and numbers, but that’s what they are, ignoring or disputing them won’t change them. I don’t get emotional about politics like you (being a fanboy of anything is stupid and self-defeating), I just need to sit back and watch that graph go up, up up, and the ANC’s one go down, down, down. I live in a DA controlled ward, life’s pretty good, and I’m patient.

  37. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>I just need to sit back and watch that graph go up, up up,

    Since you’re so big on facts and numbers, how do you fit the EFF into your graph… (Most from non-whites) – how eloquent indeed.

    How’s this for a Big Picture from someone who really knows what’s on the ground and doesn’t apply wishful thinking when putting out such challenges as an online poll.

    In the next general elections the ANC will still be within its desired range of between two thirds and 60% – The DA will fall behind the EFF and you like Mr Lekota will need to find a hat to sink your teeth into.

    The issues are quite clear and the DA has no plan or desire to address the real issues which for poor Zimbabwe were left unchecked for way too long.

    The non-whites which you know very little about, are not going to remain satisfied with just being the garden boy and maid that Greg is justifying an STB subsidy plan for (Wow! how good of you Baas Greg)

    You just keep on dreaming along and sitting back watching your graph from the comfort of your home whilst the ones who are wide awake and are working the ground cook up the Biggest surprise of your life in the next elections.

    Strangely enough your plan to just sit back and watch is consistent with the DA’s plan; where they too are doing just that; sitting back and dreaming in those cozy seats in parliament.

  38. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >Since you’re so big on facts and numbers, how do you fit the EFF into your graph

    A single data point. Too early to extrapolate any conclusions from.

    The rest of your post is just unsubstantiated speculation and rhetoric… armchair politics, so… meh.

  39. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    I’m guessing that in your dreams your predictions of what will be happening while you’re sitting back and watching; are all well substantiated conclusions based on calculations using the two cells that you’ve replaced your Maak ‘n Plan brain with.

  40. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    The “red kinder garden” is not a personal reference to you and your embarrassed DA chomies, who now realize that the BS of the fear to get the entire population online is something no one buys… it’s referring to those “New Kidz” in parliament, the EFF.

    Where’s your sense of humor, why would I want to include you guys in the poll… you and your “cANCer metaphor” chomies need to get elected into office first.

  41. You are so boring, so conceited and so illogical. I used to think that if people like you got educated they would be able to think, but you prove otherwise.

  42. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    My word Ricardo – I’m quite surprised that you would find me so boring that you would take the time from your very interesting life and post a reply… what very sound logic and reasoning you demonstrate by your actions? It would most certainly suggest… well to the thinking person that is (so that doesn’t apply to you) – that someone is indeed very bored and illogical.

  43. Tshela Thupa! If you feel the “data” is too little to extrapolate the undeniable fact that the EFF will grow at DA&ANC’s expense then it’s only fair to consign you or rather allow you to remain confined in your “ubsusbstantiated speculation and rhetoric” argument.

    As for the subject at hand I think there are for more important thigns to worry about now than TV&digital migration while giving a platform for Multichoice&etv inflate their egos.

    First world states renege on more meaningful agreements while pretending to comply. I don’t think the ANC led gvt should be too concerned about meeting this deadline or chase it at all.

    I’m extremely suprised that pople even consider it feasible that this gvt (as well as opposition gvts in theirs stronglholds) will manage to distribute over 30 million STBs when they can’t erect funtioning toilets or keep the lights on.

  44. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >If you feel the “data” is too little to extrapolate the undeniable fact that the EFF will grow at DA&ANC’s expense

    Actually, EFF growing at DA’s expense is your (unsubstantiated) opinion – previous elections showed the otherwise; it took votes from ANC and the dying COPE (those 2 were the big losers in the elections, DA and EFF were the big winners), and 1 data point being too little to extrapolate from is a mathematical fact, feelings have nothing to do with it.

    Just look at history – COPE’s rise from 0% to 7.4% in ’99 was even better than the EFF’s 0% to 6.3%. So right now, EFF is just behind COPE in their successes; next election will show if they’re just a flash in the pan like COPE (plenty of time for EFF to tear themselves apart, their leaders have an impressive pedigree for this), or if it’s the start of a real trend. I welcome their success, any meaningful opposition is important in a democracy, even if it’s not one that I support.

    >I’m extremely suprised that pople even consider it feasible that this gvt will manage to distribute over 30 million STBs when they can’t erect funtioning toilets or keep the lights on.

    We can agree 100% here… The CA portion must go. Sentech has demonstrated that they can manage basic signal distribution, and I’m cautiously optimistic they will keep the DTT backbone up and running.

  45. Vusumuzi Sibiya on

    >>I welcome their success, any meaningful opposition is important in a democracy, even if it’s not one that I support.

    …day by day – becoming a little bit wiser.

  46. > I’m extremely suprised that people even consider it feasible that this gvt (as well as opposition gvts in theirs stronglholds) will manage to distribute over 30 million STBs when they can’t erect funtioning toilets or keep the lights on.

    No argument about the lack of capability in Government. Just a correction to the numbers: There are about 12 million TV-owning households in RSA, and about 5 million of those are expected to be subsidised

  47. I don’t think people understand South Africa at all. There are 16m on grants in SA. Most of those being ones who have successfully conned the system into doing so. millions others qualify but are not on social grants. Of the kids that are on social grants the beneficiary seldom stays with the mother/guardian. All live with other poor families. Think about this properly and you’ll understand that 12m&5m are both severely understated respectively.

    We have 14 million individual taxpayers in this country. Half of those being under the threshhold. So just 7-8 million individual taxpayers in a country of 52m. Gvt/census estimation that around 2m households live in informal settlements and 3m
    need housing is a huge lie. Triple that amount would be an
    understatement too. How on earth does 5m sound logical to anyone? In our beautiful country which justifiably or unjustifiably suffers from a dependency syndrome if they go through with the 5m target expect more protests to burn down libraries&service centres.

    Just think how much(&how many units) was spent by gvt installing water meters&electricity meters in Soweto alone. None of those people were willing to shell out a single cent on them. Including the middle class in Soweto (heck I can probably afford a hundred STBs, but I don’t plan on shelling out a single cent to receive one!).

    Are people even aware that we have millions of our daughters and grandchildren who many years ago moved from all over the provinces to go to JHB&CT to prostitute themsleves to all&sudnry and are basically living at the mercy of some Nigerians, crashing here and there etc?(Yes that’s not a phenomenon that only affects migrants fro other African countries. We have it locally too). Essentially since they’ve mostly long cut off ties with their families they’ve effectively resettled and will constitute households at some point. Lots of social problems which means my 30m is pretty accurate.

  48. “Actually, EFF growing at DA’s expense is your (unsubstantiated) opinion –
    previous elections showed the otherwise; it took votes from ANC and the
    dying COPE (those 2 were the big losers in the elections, DA and EFF
    were the big winners), and 1 data point being too little to extrapolate
    from is a mathematical fact, feelings have nothing to do with it.”

    Continue to mislead yourself. Persist in taking comfort on the precedent set by COPE and ignore the fact that EFF is a completely different party. Come 2016&2019 elections, muny like-minded people will be sorely disappointed.

    You forget that DA was given many African votes on a silver platter by Dalindyebo&Abahlali BaseMjondolo. as the MDC in Zimbabwe found out, protest voters never hang around. Pretty much all the groups which handed MDC support pulled out. COPE learnt that the hard way too. What sets EFF apart is that it had a constituency which had long threatened to overrun the ANC. There are eligible voters who had long stopped voting or paying attention to politics (despite the presence of cANCer&JuDAs) but have since found a home in the EFF. That nummber is growing.

    If you hadn’t noticed in parliament, there is a lot of leadership talent within the EFF and their profiles have been raised. This was more apparent in the days when the Malemas, Gardees, Ndlozis, Shivambus&Mngxitamas were not present in parliament. Who did people know besides Terror&Shilowa in COPE? And who exactly do people know in DA besides Godzille&Obamalite? The Chief Whip&Deputy combo, Trollip&James are only known by you&me as well as the same kind of people who pay closer attention politics of other parties.

    At least 15 EFF leaders are far more well known and can be easily identified by millions here anywhere in the street. I think that number can easily grow to 30 plus over 2 years. In essence EFF is challenging ANC in terms of profile of leaders. All of them are either getting qualifications at varsity or have already completed them which adds undeniable credibility&faith to the party’s capacity in the eyes of the populace. That’s the big difference. Supporters of all parties – ANC, DA, COPE, IFP, FF+ etc know a lot of these EFF leaders. Same can’t be said of the other barring the ANC.

    We are no longer a one man(or woman) show. We are here to stay and take over the country. Soon people may just know me too. Watch this space. *wink*

    As an aside, has it ever occured to you that a lot of heavyweight ANC&DA insiders may very be EFF and many may come out of the cacoon as early as 2019 to deliver telling blows to both those parties?

  49. Greg Mahlknecht on

    >If you hadn’t noticed in parliament, there is a lot of leadership talent within the EFF

    I actually followed the recent parliament debacle closely, watching live streams a lot. “Leadership” isn’t a word I’d use… they’re just loudmouthed children, and although the EFF were immensely entertaining, that’s not a talent that is needed to run a country.

    >Supporters of all parties – ANC, DA, COPE, IFP, FF+ etc know a lot of these EFF leaders

    Most of the people I know, know only two – Juju and his brainless lapdog, Floyd – and mainly as the brunt of jokes. Nobody really takes their ideas seriously. They play the politics game really well, but would be disastrous at governance, they’re latching on to decades-old populist ideas that have failed over and over again. You’re in the EFF bubble, and believe what they say. From the outside, it’s a very different story.

  50. > which means my 30m is pretty accurate.

    Sir. You are conflating PEOPLE and HOUSEHOLDS.

    Census 2011 states that there are 14 450 161 households in South Africa. It also says that there were 51 770 560 people in RSA at the time of the census. That means that there are about 3.6 persons per household. Obviously, people and households are not the same thing.

    The same source quotes 10 761 949 households (not people) with television and 3 721 067 households (not people) with satellite TV. There is obviously significant overlap between these latter two categories. That’s why the current working figure for TV owning households is 12 million – a number which increases every month, but is nowhere near 30 million.

    And yes, a household may have more than one TV set, but only one STB is required per household for DTT.

  51. “Sir. You are conflating PEOPLE and HOUSEHOLDS.” Nope, we Africans can afford flat screens in the township, and that old tube tv goes to my eldest child in his mkhukhu in the backroom, and I get another cheap tube tv from the pawnshop after that so I can watch generations and leave my kids to watch their illegal movies&serie sin thelounge at night. Poor but 3 tvs my friend. One STB may take care of those in the main house, what about my older child in the backroom? What about all those other 2/3 households renting in my other back rooms? They are not classified under households you know. 2/3 more STBs? Whichever way you look at it those numbers are highly understated. Govt cutting off RDPs at age 40 must tell you something.

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