Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 April 2010

South Africa / Minister dissolves digital migration council





South Africa / Minister dissolves digital migration council



PRETORIA, South Africa, April 9, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — South Africans Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda has dissolved the Digital Dzonga Advisory Council, which was tasked to oversee the migration from analogue broadcasting to digital.


According to local media reports the news was unlikely to further delay the process, which is already running behind the original schedule. The 12-member council was appointed in 2008 and made up of representatives from broadcasters such as, M-Net and the SABC, manufacturers Altech UEC and Reutech Digital and labour and consumer groups.


Nyanda told council members last week he had received a report suggesting a possible conflict of interest by some of the members of the council. This was due to the fact that most members are employed by organisations that have interests, directly or indirectly, in the value chain of the migration process. Nyanda said the Department of Communications and the migration process “shouldn’t be compromised as a result of this issue”. A process is under way to nominate new candidates.


An industry source close to the council was not surprised by Nyanda’s move and explained that some members had had their own interests, and some had not been aligned with that of the department. Last year the Nafcoc Broadcasting Consortium raised its concerns regarding the council, saying that it did not represent the interest of the public, especially emerging black manufacturers and broadcasters.


The council planned to commercially launch the digital signal this month, but new deadlines will be announced when the government has finalised the technology standards to be included in decoders that will receive the signals.



Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)


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