‘Reversing unencrypted digital TV was not discussed at NGC’

E.tv has said unencrypted digital television would weaken its position, while strengthening that of DStv.

FILE: On Sunday the ANC said it wanted to meet with Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to discuss the issue, because they had not been consulted about her policy. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The communications ministry says reports that the African National Congress' (ANC) National General Council (NGC) discussed reversing the decision to go ahead with unencrypted digital terrestrial television are wrong.

On Sunday the party said that it wanted to meet with Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to discuss the issue because they had not been consulted about her policy.

E.tv has said unencrypted digital television would weaken its position, while strengthening that of DStv.

Over the weekend the ANC's communications commission appeared to say it was unhappy with the decisions that were taken by Muthambi.

Now the Communications Ministry's Mish Molakeng says reversing the decision did not come up.

"The minister is clear about this; this was never discussed over the weekend, so we were surprised to see it in the newspapers as something that was discussed by the NGC, particularly the commissions on ICT and communications."

The ministry also says that commission chair, Jackson Mthembu's claim the ANC was not consulted is patently untrue, and that he was only expressing his personal views.

But Mthembu says he stands by his statement that the party was not properly consulted by Muthambi.

He says she has not met with the commission, despite numerous requests to do so, but Molakeng says they consult with the ANC.

"We have followed all the processes that are required, [the policy] went through all the structures and stakeholders. It was debated and then it was taken to cabinet, finally it was diverted."