As part of the ANC’s resolutions from its latest conference, the party says it will push government to transform the paid-TV market.
This would be to “ensure that there is no barriers to entry by in particular black people, black entrepreneurs and black industrialist in the paid television segments,” said Jackson Mthembu, chairperson of the ANC NEC subcommittee on media and communications.
Mthembu also said that the committee had resolved to finally complete the digital terrestrial migration by June 2019, with no further extensions allowed.
The change over was supposed to be completed in 2012, and no later than 2015 – the ITU’s deadline. However, this has failed every time.
Telecommunications minister Siyabonga Cwele promised in September this year that the migration would start in earnest in 2018.
According to Mthembu, the committee directed government that June 2019 is the latest time that they can migrate fully and not partially, from analogue to digital.
“There will be no extension,” he said.
Despite previous failures to meet deadlines, also with the quips of ‘no extensions’, no action has been taken against any government official, and no one has been held accountable.
Yunus Carrim, who came the closest out of any (then) communications minister to implement the government’s policies in this regard was sacked in a subsequent cabinet reshuffle.
In the wake of reports pointing to multi-million rand payments made to channels like ANN7 and the SABC by Multichoice, Carrim alluded that his sacking was as a result of opposing digital migration policies favoured by the media giant.
The payments have put Multichoice in the spotlight, and has accelerated the government’s push for transformation in the sector.