Sentech is on track to fulfil its mandate of rolling out the new digital terrestrial television (DTT) to 88% of the population by March 2014. It currently covers 80% of South African citizens.
Sentech CEO Setumo Mohapi yesterday told a media briefing that, as of 28 March 2012, the company had covered 80,4% of the population, with the 88% target within reach within the year.
The balance of 12% of the population, mostly in deep rural areas, will connect to FTA (free-to-access) television via satellite.
“So we will be able to guarantee 100% access to public services,” Mohapi says.
The network is only one part of the DTT roll-out across South Africa, he adds, and the process of getting devices into people’s homes is a complex one.
A number of other players will be instrumental in this, including policy-makers, SABS, the manufacturing sector, the retail market and broadcasters.
In addition, consumers will require support regarding content choices, logistics and technicalities.
“However, the network has to be there quite early in order for the whole eco-system to work, which is why we are pushing for it to be early.”
The national roll-out has been on a provincial basis, with Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal effectively covered. The Northern Cape, together with parts of the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and North West will be live by the end of this financial year.