Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Signal distributor Sentech has failed to reached agreement on tariffs for digital terrestrial television (DTT) with South Africa's TV broadcasters.

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The parastatal signal distributor Sentech has not yet reached - and should already have done so - an agreement on tariffs for digital terrestrial television (DTT) with all of South Africa's broadcasters, prompting South Africa's new minister of communications Faith Muthambi to tell Sentech to do so urgently.

"Sentech has not yet reached agreement on the DTT tariffs with all the broadcasters," Faith Muthambi told parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Friday. "We feel this is a matter that needs to be expedited as a matter or urgency".

"Many citizens in South Africa still do no have access to television and radio.This matter shall be noted and dealth with. The matter is between Sentech and the SABC," said Faith Muthambi.

Setumo Mohapi, Sentech CEO, told parliament that enhancing the reach of its analogue signal reach is no longer a core priority of the signal distributor since it is now focusing on building its digital terrestrial  coverage.

"We have this analogue networks that we don't want to put money into them as much as possible, but we want to keep the services up," said Setumo Mohapi. "So if we can avoid putting money into them we would because we're going to switch them off".

Setumo Mohapi said Sentech is aware that many South Africans still do not have universal access to television and radio in the country.

"We work with our broadcasters to push for affordable universal access. We are aware of the socio-political context that there are still many places where people still currently do not have television, still do not have the full scope of radio services".