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MultiChoice SA aware of illegal DStv in Zimbabwe but can’t do anything about it


A recent report in IT Web Africa has said that MultiChoice South Africa has issued warnings Zimbabweans who subscribe to DStv SA bouquets. The report does not go into detail of the possible repercussions of this apart from quoting MultiChoice (SA) general manager for corporate affairs Caroline Creasy saying, “MultiChoice is aware of this practice and has issued several warnings to the public that this is illegal”.

We are not sure in what form or when these warnings came in but it’s increasingly evident that both MultiChoice Zimbabwe and MultiChoice SA don’t know how to deal with this.

The illegal practice of subscribing to DStv SA bouquets whilst is Zimbabwe has been going for years but increased soon after the Santech encryption of the SABC signal.

Probably the major reason why MultiChoice cannot stop the illegal viewing is because it’s difficult to identify the illegal accounts. Caroline Creasy admitted in the IT Wed Africa report that it’s “impossible to measure” the extent of the problem and I definitely agree with her.

Almost all DStv dealers in Zimbabwe are able to open “SA accounts” remotely from Zimbabwe. The last I checked the fee was $20 to open an account which is set up within 30 minutes. Most dealers just require a copy of a your passport and the cash and you’ll be viewing a DStv SA bouquet of your choice in no time.

Once the account is set up, the dealer will give you your account number, your South African address and your South African phone number. This is the privacy information you will need to give a South African MultiChoice call center agent should you experience problems with your South African MultiChoice account.

Subscriptions are also not an issue. The widespread option is to have a relative down south to pay the subscription. People not so “lucky” to have a relative in SA can always return to their DStv dealer who can organise subscription payments for a $5 fee. They will either use visa or send by bus to their runner or point person in SA to make the payment. I know one DStv dealer who handles close to 50 SA account subscriptions each month.

The machine is well oiled and it’s difficult to see how MultiChoice can effectively deal with it. Apart from the dealers, it’s also difficult to track the hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwe’s who go into SA, buy decoders, open SA accounts (you only need a passport, SA address and phone number), pay subscription and return to Zimbabwe to watch SABC.

MultiChoice SA has sometimes been criticised for being soft in this whole issue because of obvious benefits but clearly they also have their work cut out.

The latest report suggests that the Zimbabwean regulators should clampdown on illegal viewing of SABC in Zimbabwe. True, but MultiChoice SA also has moles within that open these SA accounts on behalf of Zimbabweans hundreds of miles across the Limpopo.

So if MultiChoice (Zim and SA) can’t technically do anything about it, what next?

With recent developments in Zimbabwe, there could be more people looking at SA DStv accounts. BOStv and GOtv went off air recently and the thousands of viewers who were on these two products will be looking at other options and it’s rare for a Zimbabwean to snub the prospect of watching shows like Generations or Isidingo again.

Both MultiChoice Zimbabwe and MultiChoice SA have increased subscriptions effective April and exchange rate aside, South African bouquets offer more value for less. For example, Compact SA gives you all SABC channels and 4 sports channels for $27.50 but for $31 the Zimbabwean Compact has no SABC (it can’t have SABC) and Zero sports channels worth note.

True people still need to pay $20 to get that coveted SA account. However, this cost will pay for itself within 6 months through saved subscription fees – $3.50 it’s the compact bouquet.

It’s accurate to say that once Zimbabweans decide to subscribe through SA , they forfeit assistance from MultiChoice Zimbabwe. This means you can’t call MultiChoice Zimbabwe if you lose a signal and need reconnection.

From my experience, the only time people lose a signal is when it rains heavily or when subscriptions are not paid on time. The first happens to everyone so it’s not relevant but if you get disconnected for late payment, you’ll then need to call the DStv SA call center which is quite costly on both your pocket and integrity as you will need to lie that you are in South Africa and give false personal details provided by your dealer.

However, after all has been said and done, we need to understand that each time we choose to subscribe DStv SA, we support the SA economy ahead of ours. Subscriptions paid to MultiChoice SA represent revenue lost to Zimra in income tax and VAT. The more we call the MultiChoice call center in SA, the more they will increase their call center agents to cater for this new demand on their service, again at the expense of our own job creation.

Is this a cost we want to pay just for the sake of better entertainment?

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

67 thoughts on “MultiChoice SA aware of illegal DStv in Zimbabwe but can’t do anything about it

  1. until there is better & affordable option available to zimbabweans, you can kiss goodbye to those already on multichoiceSA to change to lackofchoiceZW

  2. LOL so you guys at Teczhim have just gone and put up a public article, disclosing the cell phone number and physical location of someone offering these service in zim? if i were these guys id probably sue for this

        1. Municipal laws – DEFACING THE TREE – lol. It is ACTUALLY an offence believe it or not – and here in Bulawayo they sometimes go on a blitz tearing those things down.

          1. Lol I remember some law about throwing trash in public. Rumor but you $20 never know in Zim especially now that they want to fine you for jay walking…:p

    1. but Levy do you realise those posters are all over the city….and just for interest’s sake, what provision of law will the guys sue with/

    2. If you do anything in a public place or display anything in a public place it can be used by the public without permission unless very carefully stated. If anything this just got them more business.

  3. This practice will never end. Zimboz are starved of TV entertainment. For help, there is where one can get help on any account related issues immediately. Plus one can also create a DSTV online account on their website and manage things from there. For the technical stuff like realignment, local is lekker.

    1. Unfortunately you cant use the website it wont even allow you to do anything because it can automatically pick that you are visiting the site from Zimbabwe. Try it.

  4. The More we call SA the more econet and Telecel, telone and whoever myfone carrier is make money and Zimra takes its money from there. its a fair deal. i cant afford Zim compact plus @$50 to watch sport so i better go with R295 for SA Compact and watch SS3. Kana Chelsea yangu ikabudawo live ipapo ndapinda pakabuda vamwewo ndongomirira repeat. Ndingadini?

  5. Multichoice Zimbabwe is expensive on sports channels. We love English soccer and they’re charging us US$50 for 2 channels yet in South Africa they offer Supersport 3 on Compact which is cheap.

  6. You missed one point …In S.A you are charged ZAR50.00 for reconnection if you get disconnected .But at times u feel the cost of DSTV SA is worth it .

  7. yes of course. if our government is failing to avail decent entertainment why should I be ashamed to spend my hard earned cash elsewhere. that anyway wouldn’t stop those greedy CEO’s at ZBCtv or some other useless parastatal from having an expensive breakfast at Meikles tomorrow morning, would it? anyway i’m already being taxed over the odds.

  8. why must we ordinary the people worry about supporting the economy when heads of parastatals who are mostly war vets are playing with tax payers money. and more over why cant multi-choice Zimbabwe offer more for less.

  9. Well l would rather support a progressive economy like SA rather than Zimra making money of my Zim Multichoice subscription and then pay themselves $500,000 a month

  10. What shall it profit a man to gain a south african dstv account and yet lose access to ZTV? Good tv content, Sports channels and cheaper subscriptions is what you gain. Also dont forget the extra services that you get with that account especially if you have a PVR. Let the local economy suffer its not giving us much benefit(Too bad ZIMRA loses out on VAT). When I finally get a PVR Decoder its gonna be SA registered.

  11. the guys with the signs should learn to spell, what is a “decoRder” eh? is it something like a decoder?

  12. I can get twice as much shows by subscribing to the SA packages, infact thank you for this article…. I think I will do so . And you also gave me a phone number to start with !!! Wow thanks Techzim !!!

    Then again..

    It just hit me that all of this could be a publicity stunt by the Techzim guys who are actually running this elicit profitable business ?

    What does Soul do in his spare time ?


  14. When an ordinary man in Zimbabwe decides to buy anything from outside Zimbabwe he/she is considered an unpatriotic Zimbabwean. But if the big fishes externalize the Zimbabwean hard earned Diamond money, no-one comments and its considered Holy and “Thou shalt not speak”. Wow, if ZTV was giving what the people wanted, no-one yes no-one would have dared buying any service from Zim or SA DSTV, but that’s unfortunate really. The good thing is that by paying for the SA bouquets it simply means our brothers and sisters in SA are getting better and paying jobs down there. Why would I support Zimbabwean firms whose firms’ monies are swallowed by single big fishes? The best thing is to support the SA economy which would at the end offer big returns for Zimbos; good hospitals for free, good jobs, good groceries, good clothes, good blankets, a better government, etc. This is just the beginning, we will all have the SA accounts soon. coz information spreads faster than gas in Zimbabwe, we will advertise it to our friends. Remember; the farmers are getting their cash soon and some of it will go down south through DSTV, cars, groceries, etc. please don’t blame them, its just that our government failed everyone and these are the repercussions.

    By the way, thank you for marketing the SA DSTV to some of us were in the not-knowing. Regards

    1. Such narrow minded perceptions on the economic impact. That is why we cannot move forward because we exist as each man for himself. So lets create more wealth in SA economy and then line up at the border to go and get jobs there and be hated with xenophobic fervour.

  15. Its easy to bust this dude, if i were multichoice simply dial *151# then send money and type in his number and voila his nameis tatenda chideme, kkkkk

    1. unfortunately… guy bot a registered line mustreet pana !st….he duxn even knw tatenda wako iyeye…imakesure yekusarasa line chete….

  16. this pure commerce,i pay for what gives me value for my money,whether its multi choice zim/hell i dont care.

  17. lets get rid of monopoly and start bringing competition to our local media fullstop #pamberineMultichoiceSA

  18. kkkkkkk, Surely there are other people who should worry about the economy than me! Multichoice Zimbabwe should just match their South Africans counterparts and no one will go there!

  19. I will stop subscribing to SA when Multichoice Zimbabawe give us sports channels on compact.

  20. OK. Lets see. ZIMRA is loosing revenue to pay its Executives outrageous salaries and allowances. If it was going to genuinely benefit the poor man on the street, then I would have switched to MultiChoice Zim. But with all the looting thats taking place at ZIMRA, I will hang on to MultiChoice SA kusvikira madhongi amera nyanga.

    Secondly, MultiChoice SA offers the same bouquet at a much cheaper premium.

  21. Multichoice Zimbabwe is offering expensive service compared to SA so they must lower their subs to match with SA. I think they are also taking advantage of the lake of choice in Zimbabwean entertainment. Unless they are saying it is more costly to offer dstv to Zimbwabwe than SA for some strange reasons.

  22. When someone subs to DStv SA, they make that decision at a very personal level and its based on one factor “cost”. We cant talk about job losses, revenue lost to ZIMRA etc. Its about value for money. Businesses in Zim are not being run efficiently thats why imports from SA are cheaper than locally produced ones. Its the economy that we have to fix and then these “small” things will fall into place. Our economy is crippled, period! Fix the economy and no one will break their neck to sub DStv SA or import basic goods etc.

  23. It is better to send our money to SA than to give it to ZIMRA who will use it for nothing but as outrageous salary for the corrupt bosses.
    Multichoice SA will surely do nothing about it because it means there’s less revenue loss due to royalties paid to Multichoice Zim.

  24. SA subs are extra good to my pockets and I’l be spoit fo choice.
    Multichoice Zim is busy crapping on our entertainment rights
    Fcuk the economy!!
    Next thing they’l be banning ex-jap cars for Zim Willowvale mzda motor industry.
    ahh vanhu vepi!

  25. is it possible to close a zim dstv account & open a nu SA one with the same decorder & smartcard???

  26. Zim z rich forget abt the cents going to SA and go to mines, zimra, municipality and mnymo they cant even develop the infrastructure e.g a mine in gwanda extracting mo than 12kilos week yet the same road to that mine from town 16kms is a narrow tarred road that cant even fit two small vehicles. Townclerks are paid mo than $15 000 a month allover zim. You buy a car in SA R50 000 Zimra makes you pay $5000 evaluating shit. Nw tel me whr tht money z going.

  27. they must use the same rates with with same one will subscribe to SA account.we dont have money,things are becoming hard yet they are charging us exorbitant up multichoice zimbabwe

  28. The problem we have is Multichoice indirectly forces us to watch what we don’t want to watch by creating these bouquets with channels they feel we should watch NO! WE ARE THE CUSTOMER, WE ARE THE ONES WHO PAY. The only fair option they can consider investing in is the pay per view were the viewer can pay for the channels they want to watch.

  29. up until multichoice SA does smething I will b duing SA coz ts my source of living..Remember Zims unemployment rate stands at over 80%.So if u wnt Sa acc call this number 0713494502…reconnections.payments.acc opening.upgrades.downgrades.E16 errors. all done instantly. .

  30. techzim instead of being a mouth piece of multichoice zim, thru castigating those opening accounts with multi choice south africa, encourage or advise multi choice zim not to short change subscribers..ask them to give Zimbabweans equally the same bouquets that south Africans are enjoying..period..they will be no illegal this or illegal that..we promote these things thru unscrupulous and unfair business practices.. customers first and profits last..

  31. Zim will always be blaming sanctions nxaaaa!!!!!!!! and they say zimra zimra,thats nonsense,zim govt has failed
    to catter fo its people in all aspects,thats why even on tv we preffer south africa wise…better dissolve zimbabwe and make it south africa

  32. What would you do ? Dstv in SA on full HD per month R675 so in a year is R8100
    Im Zim same subscription $90 * 13 = R1170 per month in a year is R 14040 . So a difference of almost R6k. Lets correct things . The CEO at ZBC was on US$40 k per month . So clearly who is the mad one !

  33. these multichoice zim guys, do they say in their homes they watch ZBC or DSTV Zim? l dont think so. even our own ministers l dont think so.

  34. lets be honest , its like saying why are people buying mariana rice inplace of mahatma , elangeni inplace of key blue , sun star inplace of olivine , hembe dzemubhero inplace of edgars ,japanes cars inplace of willowvale cars, the reason is simple its makes economiv sense -so multichoice zim is facing same problems suffered by the likes of olivine .people do what they gonna do to survive no harc feelings

  35. dstv sA offers more channels plus its cheaper than the dstv Zimbabwe is A Ripe off its crazy

  36. Thanks guys for enlightening me. I remember Dstv Zim making an official statement saying they will not bring the fees down, so less customers for them. I doubt if Multichoice SA are worried, hey they are getting more sales, thanx to their greedy Zim counterparts. Who cares. Off to SA like right now.

  37. guys im a software developer i know how i can solve your problems i have an android aplication that allows you to watch all the channels in the world even the latest movies and series of your choice and no registration it is million times better then dstv because its an aplication i created to make alll entertainment compressed on a app if you have an android tv its even better this app uses internet the only thing you will just pay for is your internet service but the benifit is you watch whatever you choose thats what i caLL super multichoice email me for more details and questions

  38. nxa Using zim multi choice is same as watching xbc nothing Gud there tiregei isu ndida kuto register kamwe kemu spare memufanha wangue so

  39. then if they do realize that Multihoice Zim is indeed expensive why force people to pay for what they can’t afford

  40. 2 go straight 2 the point…wy can’t multichoice-ZIM offer more 4 less, $50 iz jus’ 2-much yaz’

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