SADIBA owes its existence to individuals with vision and commitment that have set apart time and resources and driven the processes that saw the establishment and now the growth of the association. In recognition of the contributions made, the SADIBA Steering Group met with the former chairpersons and presented them with a token of appreciation.

Neel Smuts

Neël Smuts

Neël could be referred to as founder and visionary and indeed as the “father of SADIBA”.  Whilst he was Managing Director of Sentech, Neël played a leading role in mobilising industry stakeholders, highlighting the need for co-operation and eventually establishing the voluntary forum on digital broadcasting. The association was formed as SADABA (Southern African Digital Audio Broadcasting Association) and launched on 24 January 1997. Neël was elected the Chairperson and held the position until July 2000.

Under Neël’s leadership the work within the association commenced and the membership started growing, Pilot transmissions commenced and services were accommodated.  With the onset of discussions on Digital Terrestrial Television the move to expanding the focus of the association commenced.

The AGM on 12 May 1999 accepted in principle that a change in focus was required in order to include all digital broadcasting technologies. The constitution was amended to this effect in 1999 and the name to SADIBA (Southern African Digital Broadcasting Association) was approved on 3 June 1999.


Trevor Evans


Trevor was elected as Chairperson at a Special General Meeting held on 6 September 2000 and in view of his imminent retirement stepped down at the 2002 AGM held on 6 March 2002.

Trevor stepped into the breach at a critical junction of SADIBA’s history.  The association had to fundamentally reorganise in order to meet the work outputs demanded by the establishment of the Digital Broadcasting Advisory Body.  The activities were to move away from the Executive Committee and into smaller Task Groups. A Steering Group was established to co-ordinate the activities in the Task Groups and to assist the Executive Committee with guiding activities of the association.


SADIBA Chairperson (2002) Mr Carl Ferreira congratulating Mr Evans on a job well done.