Load-shedding and financially struggling users are negatively affecting DStv, even in SA

Leonard Sengere Avatar

Running a successful business is no easy task, most companies fail. Running a successful business in Africa requires prayer and fasting. The once-beloved DStv is engaged in so many fights at once, one wonders how it’s still standing.

Only a few years ago, DStv lost 230,000 Zimbabwean customers in just 6 months. They said it was due to power cuts and prevailing tough economic conditions. There is little incentive to subscribe when users don’t get the electricity to enjoy the said subscription.

Now, that load shedding and tough economic conditions have spread across the continent, even to their home country of South Africa. It looks like what happened in Zimbabwe is also happening there. Though not quite at the 230,000-subscribers-lost-in-6-months level.

The FIFA World Cup was held only a few months ago and it usually delivers new subscribers, some of whom stick around even after the tournament. Despite this, Multichoice expects its revenue growth to be below expectations for the year ending March 2023.

Sustained high levels of load-shedding are having a significant impact on the activity levels of the customer base.

Combined with the negative effect of a weak economy on consumer spending, and thus on the Group’s customer mix, indications are that 2H2023 revenue growth in the South African business will be below expectations.


Luckily for Multichoice, it looks like the situation is not as dire in the rest of Africa. The festive period, buoyed by a World Cup for the first time, led to growth as would be expected, especially in Nigeria apparently.

However, they are yet to return to trading profitability in the rest of Africa. If the trends hold, they are poised to do that though. That shows just how tough they have had it, they are not profitable in the rest of Africa.

The worst kind of problem to have

Being Zimbabweans we can feel for Multichoice here. We are all too familiar with our businesses being negatively impacted by things outside our control.

Currency problems, an incompetent power company, excessive taxation etc. You might do everything humanly possible to set your business up for success but it’s hard to overcome those challenges.

I recently read a Twitter thread about a guy who lost an order to print 150 T-shirts. His is a small business that desperately needed such an order.

Unfortunately, the order came when there was no electricity and bad luck struck when their generator would not start up. They lost the order and at the end of the day, they had a generator repairman bill to settle.

These little things make or break businesses. For Multichoice, their problems do not end with load-shedding and economically struggling Africans. There is a real threat from streaming services like Netflix siphoning users from them. They have a plan on how to win that particular battle and we shall look at that next.

Also read:

DStv Loses Nearly 100k Subscribers In Zim, Economic Woes & Electricity Crisis To Blame

What is the future of DStv?

House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones spinoff, blows up worldwide but not on DStv. Why is that?



  1. Fatso

    It’s a reality on hand, we are also a small business we operate from home since covid lockdown. We fail even to send an electronic quotation via pdf now we are writing with a pen on the invoice and send the client the quotation in picture format.

    Really power outages need a permanent solution. However, given such scenarios some within power corridors can claim economic growth in such a situation . Let’s just watch and pray

    1. Leonard Sengere

      I feel you my guy. You are forced to solve for problems that should be the government’s, that’s the country we live in. You will have to do whatever works for your business cause we cannot even consider hoping that the govt will find a permanent solution for the power crisis.

    2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Look for a mobile based invoicing app that can generate a PDF. 🤔

  2. D.K.

    Someone says more than eighty percent of goods in the supermarkets are locally produced. How are the manufacturers able to produce so much with all the power disruptions? DSTV should look into energy solutions specific to their customers. Low power consumption decoders which can also be powered by ordinary batteries as well as electricity, and their encouragement and funding for the production of low power consumption screens which can also use easily available batteries would help their low end consumers and boost the numbers. No need for DSTV to worry about the customers who use upper end bouquets as these have the alternative power sources.

    1. Leonard Sengere

      It really should be explained how production in the country is still this decent considering the conditions businesses are operating in. Are we saying many have alternative power sources now? Even in heavy industries?

      So, we are at the point where any manufacturer has to seriously consider the power consumption of their devices if they are to sell them in Africa. If a few watts can be shaved, let them be shaved.

  3. D.K.

    You are doing something right to still be operating. Get a low power consumption laptop, preferably one with a solid state disk, and a simple black and white inkjet printer of low power consumption, an inverter and a battery ( even a car battery), and you can send a printed invoice in the picture format. You can even send the PDFs via a USB modem connected to the laptop.

  4. Carole-Ann Flynn

    Far to many repeats that’s what kills DSTV

    1. Leonard Sengere

      Repeats are a part of life on TV. Video on demand shields us from that but if Netflix were to run multiple channels, all broadcasting 24 hours a day, we would see repeats.

  5. Jose

    U forgot to mention Mukoma Zee who is unscrambling Most Dstv channels on wiz tech decoders .

    1. Leonard Sengere

      🤣 Mukoma Zee vane nharo. Why pay Multichoice when mkoma gives it to you for free?

    2. Homeschooled

      Mukoma Zee ndevapi ava?, especially with these power cuts he can be handy.

  6. Prometheus’ Liver

    What a small world! I read the same Twitter thread, it was quite the little epic! I’m lucky enough to be on the design side of things so I can get by on my laptop battery for light work. The problem is, every time I run my battery down, I can feel my future money flying away💸, wasted on a premature battery replacement! The cycles are stacking up so freakin fast plus the machine scored 4/10 on iFixits repairability scale so you can imagine the extra risk of me messing it up when it’s time to do the deed 🙆🏾‍♂️