E-tv has called out the South African Ministry of Communications for lying in its recent media statement regarding the potential delays to SA’s migration to digital terrestrial television (DTT) could face.
According to e-tv, the Ministry created two false impressions in its release:
- That free-to-air broadcasters are responsible for the delays on DTT; and
- That the Ministry has arranged meetings to resolve the issue.
e-tv said that the Ministry’s media statement “misrepresent[s] the nature of the ruling”, as the free-to-air broadcasters could put the DTT process back on track with immediate effect.
However, this would require that the Ministry abide by the ruling of the South Gauteng High Court made in favour of e-tv in a case it brought against Minister of Communication Dina Pule regarding the set-top box (STB) control system, e-tv said.
e-tv explained that the high court ruled that the free-to-air broadcasters, such as the SABC and e-tv, have the right to decide on the STB control system for DTT.
Among other things, STB control is expected to prevent the use of the decoder-like set-top boxes subsidised by the South African government outside the country.
“Much has been made of meetings arranged by the Ministry with broadcasters to ‘resolve’ the issue,” e-tv continued.
“This is untrue as the Ministry has used these meetings merely to restate its original position (which the court ruled against).”
e-tv went on to say that several solutions proposed by e-tv both during and after litigation (including the meeting this week about which the Ministry issued a press statement) have not been taken into account by the Ministry.
The broadcaster believes that its solutions would allay many of the Ministry’s concerns.
“e-tv hopes that the solutions which will be presented to the Ministry by the SABC and e-tv will be taken seriously so that the process can get back on track without further litigation and inevitable delays,” e-tv said.
This article was first published on MyBroadband