South Africa Plans to Develop Communication Satellites on a Fast-Track

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Tuesday, January 11, 2022 / 10:40 AM / by Broadcast Media / Header Image Credit: NATO

 

South Africa is fast-tracking plans to develop local satellites for tracking and connectivity, according to Khumbudzo Ntshaveni, the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies.

 

While speaking at a technology conference, Ntshaveni said the department is looking into condensing the satellite programme, which would typically take eight to 10 years to develop. But, according to her, the revamped programme might be up and running in three to four years.

 

However, the minister said that would be contingent on funding, with the government hoping that telecommunications and mining companies will help co-fund the project.

 

Furthermore, Ntshavheni has indicated that the amended proposal will be finalised by the end of the fiscal year. She mentioned that they had begun talking to industries and satellite technology users about pooling resources.

 

"As a country, we already have the potential to manage satellites through space technology." Some satellites are already managed from South Africa at a particular level or orbit, so we have the capacity to go all the way and own a satellite," adds Ntshavheni.

 

Furthermore, a commission established by President Cyril Ramaphosa has previously proposed that the government develop and launch a geostationary telecommunications satellite. The commission stated that it would serve the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC), which includes South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe.

 

According to the commission, the satellite would provide free and high-quality connectivity to marginalised communities in the SADC region. The above mentioned would enable communities to access 4IR applications, such as smart health and learning services, as a result. In addition, smart ammunition, minerals, smart agriculture, smart contracts, and financial services would also be available.

 

"The satellite would establish a conducive environment for a shared economy, empowering all Africans to change their material, social conditions and alleviate poverty, inequality, and youth unemployment." Large multinationals will gain much-needed redundancy as a result of our efforts," it said.

 

In addition, according to the commission, the geostationary satellite would be useful in establishing an African central exchange for voice, data, and other communication media, as well as enabling smart contracts for African Continental Free Trade Agreements (AfCFTA).


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The post; South Africa Plans to Develop Communication Satellites on a Fast-Track first appeared in Broadcastmediaafrica.com on January 11, 2022.  


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