Multichoice Zimbabwe’s profits are not sent to South Africa, so shouldn’t they accept part payment for DSTV in bond notes?

Posted by Read 5 Comments

Multichoice is a South African video company and internet company which grew out of M-Net, both of them being owned by Naspers. Multichoice is best known for DStv, their pay-TV service.

To expand their business across Africa, Multichoice embarked on a lot of joint ventures in different countries and licensed franchises in others. In Zimbabwe they decided on a franchise arrangement.

From the onset we should understand that there are different types of franchises. Even when franchises are similar, they usually are not identical, for example business franchises awarded by KFC are different from the ones McDonald’s give. The difference is starker for a fast food outlet like KFC and a pay-TV service like DStv.

Some business franchises require the franchisee to pay a fixed amount per period for use of a trademark and brand name. Some franchise agreements require royalty payments based on number of units sold for example. In Multichoice Zimbabwe’s case, what they pay out is dependent on the number of subscribers they get.


This means that although Multichoice Zimbabwe is paying out over $45m in six months to South Africa they get to keep the profits in US dollars. The thing is, Zimbabwean subscribers pay their full subscriptions in US dollars but not all of it is remitted to South Africa. Some of it is Multichoice Zimbabwe’s.

Some have raised the point that Multichoice Zimbabwe should not get to be paid in US dollars whilst all the other local businesses struggle with bond notes. They argue that they should ask for only the portion they remit to SA in hard currency and the balance should be swipable, EcoCashable etc.

Of course Multichoice Zimbabwe would not want that. The biggest reason obviously being that they do not want to be paid in bond notes, who does? The second would be that they would be telling everyone how much they make, the bond note portion. The third might be the difficulty and/or cost in implementing such a payment system.

We now all know that the Zimbabwean government has a sizable investment in Multichoice Zimbabwe and so we know that even if it was feasible and made all the sense in the world for them to split the subscription payments it still would not happen.

What do you think about Multichoice Zimbabwe getting paid in US dollars? Do you think they should be forced to split the subscriptions into bond note and foreign currency? Or maybe you think they should actually be forced to take the whole subscription in bond notes, something Kwese TV promised before they got banned. Let us know what you think.

Multichoice ZimbabweBond NotesKwese TV

Multichoice Zimbabwe is the Zimbabwean operation of the South African headquartered company Multichoice Africa. Multichoice Zimbabwe operates as a franchise and is registered under the name Skynet Pvt Ltd. The local company is the one in charge of the DStv pay TV operations in the... Read More About Multichoice Zimbabwe

Bond Notes are a currency of notes backed by a bond that the Zimbabwe government announced on 4 May 2016 by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya. The $2 denomination of the notes was finally introduced on 28 November 2016. More notes were... Read More About Bond Notes

Kwese TV is a Zimbabwean satellite and broadcasting network owned by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, under Econet Media. On 23 August 2017, Econet Media announced that Kwese TV was now available in Zimbabwe and that decoders were available at Econet Shops. However, that very same day... Read More About Kwese TV


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  1. Mkha Ndlovu says:

    There is a law in Zimbabwe like any other countries. so it is not up to an individual or company or any serve provider to think on what method of payment ought to be when paying for services because it is prescribe by the Zimbabwe government and the RBZ. In Zimbabwe we must pay using all methods prescribe by law. You can not allow a situation where a foreign Company like DSTV dictate payments in US$ when they are scarce. Let use abide by the laws of the country. The other thing is why is Kwese TV banned? Competition is healthy and Competitions Commission should have joined the fray in ensuring Kwese TV is licenced.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t make sense. Payments for services rendered go beyond simply making profits. Payments are also part of retaining talent. Consider this scenario, you have a gifted team that have know their company has a balance sheet backed by actual USD. Next thing, they are told the company now has a balance sheet backed by Bond notes? Do you think people with better options will stick around? If you have been around long enough and have worked with a number of people, you will appreciate that attracting and retaining talent is important in any organisation. This is just one aspect of the payments domain. Its unfair to ask businesses that deal with international partners/source material abroad to accept bond notes in my humble opinion.

  3. Dusty says:

    Legal tender is legal tender, how can you reject that?

  4. Walter O'Dim says:

    People should be realistic, bond notes are not real money and also people shouldn’t pretend like DSTV demanding foreign currency is a new thing. They have been charging in foreign currency ever since the turn of the century just after we destroyed our own currency. Back then you could only make payment direct to their SA account in foreign currency to enjoy their service. Things only changed when Zimbabwe adopted foreign currency that payment for DSTV was made easier for the majority of the people. Now that the USD has all but disappeared in circulation and replaced by this funny currency, people expect things to stay the same? People need to get real and face things on the ground and they should channel their rage towards government. Dstv are as much victims as everyone here.

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro says:

      Well said. Treat the disease not the symptoms.

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