Sentech is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) operating in the broadcasting signal distribution and telecommunications sectors and reporting to the Minister of Communications. Sentech began as a technical division of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (“SABC”) responsible for signal distribution services of the Corporation. In 1992, the SABC corporatised the division as Sentech, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Corporation. In 1996, the Sentech Act 63 of 1996 was amended, converting Sentech into a separate public company responsible for providing broadcasting signal distribution services as a ‘common carrier’ to licensed television and radio broadcasters.
In 2002, following the de-regulation of the Telecommunications sector, Sentech was awarded two additional licences allowing the Company to provide international voice-based telecommunications and multimedia services. These licences were subsequently converted into an Individual Electronic Communications Network Service (I-ECNS) and an Individual Electronic Communications Service (I-ECS) licences in terms of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA) No.36 of 2005.
In line with the Electronic Communications Act and Sentech Act, the main objective of the Company is “...to provide electronic communications services and electronic communications network services.” Within this context the Government sees Sentech as an intervention vehicle in the communications sector through network based infrastructure.