Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, has announced further funding for Sentech, the signal distributor for the South African broadcasting sector, when he unveiled his annual budget for 2012, on Wednesday.
“Sentech will receive funding over the MTEF (medium term expenditure framework) period for the dual illumination of analogue and digital television, and for digital broadcasting infrastructure,” the minister said.
Following a long battle between the various digital terrestrial television (DTT) standards, the Department of Communications (DoC) announced in January 2011 that South Africa would adopt the newer DVB-T2 standard.
Minister of Communications Dina Pule said during a press briefing on 24 January 2012 that Sentech is expected to cover more than 60% of South Africa’s population for digital terrestrial television (DTT).
Many delays have already plagued South Africa’s digital migration, with the public launch of DTT pushed back to at least Q3 2012.
Minister Gordhan said on Wednesday that total spending will reach R1.1 trillion next year, representing some 32% of GDP. “An expansion in infrastructure investment is one of the central priorities of the 2012 Budget,” the Treasury said.
He said that the budget for transport, energy and communication services increases from R84 billion in 2012/13, to R98 billion in 2014/15 – rising by an annual average of 8.4%.
“In energy, the focus is on demand-side management to address the impact of limited supply until new generation capacity comes online. An additional R4.7 billion is allocated to complete the installation of one million solar water geysers. R600 million goes to municipalities to install low-energy lighting and equipment. R300 million is provided for the electrification of informal settlements,” the minister said.
For Science and technology, total expenditure on science and technology increases over the MTEF period to R12.1 billion in 2014/15, the Treasury said.