South Africa: A signal of the times
13 March 2012
For South Africa, ICT has pushed progress ahead rapidly in the past two decades, helping to level the playing field between urban and rural areas and enabling the country to better compete at a global level.
For many of the world’s fastest growing economies, transport was historically the key to developing mass infrastructure, and in turn provided support for other sectors such as construction, energy and manufacturing. ICT’s continued integration into all global economies and sectors is apparent from some of the world’s most highly profiled companies, such as Apple and Facebook.
South Africa’s development has been led under the direction of Minister Dina Pule. Since taking her post in October 2011, she has outlined very clear initiatives in order to support and develop the nation’s ICT sector. Charged with initiatives to enable the provision of a multiplicity of applications and services to meet the needs of the country, she is also responsible for strengthening the national ICT regulator, ICASA (Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act), (2000). The regulator's responsibility is to ensure quality at affordable prices, but also to encourage perfect competition in order to provide the people with a greater choice for their services and products.
The first challenge to overcome is the conversion of signal from analogue to digital for television, allowing greater flows of information in superior quality.
“We anticipate that by March 2012, the digital signal will cover more than 60% of the population,” stated Ms Pule in a recent interview.