With the recent decision by the Johannesburg High Court that holds Sentech liable to the damages e-Botswana has undergone over the past two years with regards to failure of South Africa’s signaling outfit to prevent the private viewing of SABC’s in Botswana, the Botswana private television station admits it faces expansion challenges to fill the gap that will be left after SABC stops operations in Botswana.
Speaking to Telegraph the General Manager of e-Botswana, Dave Coles, said, “We seriously need to fill the void and expand the revenue to pay for transmitters.”
Coles said that by placing the transmitters, more Batswana will be able to access e-Botswana as compared to the current situation where people in Gaborone and those in surrounding areas are the only ones who are able to access the television station.
Sentech is a South African government-owned broadcast signal distribution company.
Coles said that for the past two years, the failure of the company to prevent the viewing of SABC channels SABC 1, 2 and 3 has cost e-Botswana a loss of revenue as advertisers did not approach them but rather just advertised on SABC channels because of the free and illegal access that Batswana have been having to the channels.
He added that the judge ruled in their favour and “e-Botswana can lay a claim against Sentech for loss of revenue due to the airing of SABC channels in Botswana.
Coles said that they are awaiting a board meeting where they will decide the claims they want to put against Sentech. He said that they are happy with the decision taken by the court because they have been fighting the issue for the past two years by writing to Sentech and asking them to action about the situation to no avail.
The court ruling, which was handed down on Friday morning, ruled in e-Botswana’s favour, stating that Sentech is “liable in delict for its failure to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent pirate viewing of SABC 1, 2 and 3 in Botswana”.
Sentech was given three months.