'Delays on switch to digital will cost the country's economy' - Ntshavheni

Ntshavheni said only the Constitutional Court stands in the way of the switch to analogue.

FILE: Communications Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Communications Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said any further delays to the switch from analogue to digital will cost the country's economy.

The minister says court action by free-to-air channel e.tv has the potential of delaying the switch from analogue to digital, which is set for next Thursday.

Ntshavheni briefed the media on Friday about the anticipated release of the broadcasting spectrum and the analogue switch-off.

She said only the Constitutional Court now stands in the way of the switch.

Free-to-air channel e.tv has appealed to the Constitutional Court saying the analogue switch-off is “unlawful” as it will cut off millions of households who don’t have the required set-top boxes.

Ntshavheni said unless the planned analogue switch happens, the economic hubs of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal will continue to struggle with poor connectivity.

“Unfortunately until the analogue switch is concluded, the country’s economic hubs of Gauteng and KZN will remain with poor connectivity with negative impact to the economy of the country and also to the general citizens of the country."

Ntshavheni said five out of the nine provinces have already made the switch with the rest awaiting the Constitutional Court appeal by channel e.tv.