Budget cuts for digital migration and national broadband plan
The Treasury has released the Estimate of National Expenditure (ENE) for the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, as posted by Ellipsis. The ENE outlines the department’s budget for the three-year medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), from 2018 to 2021. One of the main changes made in the ENE is the reduction of funding for the South African Connect National Broadband Plan.
Funding for the digital migration project is also being cut. From 2018-2021, the department’s total budget is expected to decrease from R5.2 billion to R1.1 billion. This is due to a once-off allocation of R3.7 billion in 2017 for the recapitalisation of the South African Post Office.
Cabinet approved budget cuts of R1.7 billion to the national broadband project over the medium term, and R764 million to the digital migration project.
The number of government sites which will be connected as part of the National Broadband Plan were also detailed:
- 100 in 2017/18
- 0 in 2018/2019
- 750 in 2019/2020
- 45 in 2020/2021