DURBAN - Civil society organisations are uniting to challenge government plans to disconnect the analogue TV signal of over 14 million people on March 31.
Over 100 organisations are expected to attend the People's Assembly to #SaveFreeTV on Thursday this week which will be held at 10am in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Organiser Mark Weinberg said the assembly would kick off a campaign to demand that the government delay the analogue switch-off and keep their commitments to support the move to digital TV.
Sthe Khuluse, from the Right2Know Campaign, said if they do not act now, millions, including the most marginalised, will lose access to vital news, information and education.
“Free TV is critical to enabling our rights to free expression and access to information,” said Khuluse.
Hassan Logart of the Peoples Media Consortium said: “Our communication system will be even further privatised as those that can afford move over to Naspers’ Multichoice. The divide between the information-rich and information poor will only deepen.”
Rehad Desai from the SOS Coalition said it is hard to see how the SABC will survive when they lose over a third of their audience overnight.
“This is a blow to our democracy that we cannot stand for,” said Desai.
The events will be held at the following venues on Thursday:
- Cape Town - Isivivana Centre, 8 Mzala Street, Khayelitsha
- Durban - Diakonia Council Of Churches, 20 Diakonia Ave, Durban CBD
- Johannesburg - South African Human Rights Commission, 27 Stiemens Street, Braamfontein