Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Now pay from SA in rand, says MultiChoice Zimbabwe, operating with 'limited capacity' as Zimbabwe's untenable political, social, economic and foreign currency crisis escalates.

MultiChoice Zimbabwe struggling in the same way as other businesses in the ravaged Southern African nation running out of foreign currency and losing DStv subscribers who can't pay, is advising customers about a new option to pay their monthly subscription fees in rand from South Africa.

MultiChoice Zimbabwe told TVwithThinus it is "operating with limited capacity" due to the political, social and economic turmoil in the country and is evaluating the situation day by day.

With untenable political upheaval in Zimbabwe - many businesses shut, the country's internet cut off from the outside world making online payments impossible, and a growing foreign currency crisis - the pay-TV operator is one of numerous businesses in Zimbabwe facing a very stark future and possible shutdown if customers can't pay for services and products.

Zimbabwe's already bad currency and foreign currency crisis steadily worsened during the past two years, with it becoming almost impossible for DStv subscribers in the country to make payments.

In February 2017 the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank dramatically ramped up its clamping down on citizens using foreign currency and the American dollar, specifically slamming Zimbabwean DStv subscribers for their "illogical behaviour" of wanting to subscribe and pay for DStv.

Since late-2016 several payment options for DStv subscribers in Zimbabwe simply disappeared with payment processing providers announcing that they simply can't continue to process DStv payments.

Earlier this week, with Zimbabwe facing chronic shortages of foreign exchange and with many shops and factories shuttered and the petrol price there after an overnight doubling on Sunday night now the most expensive in the world, the head of Zimbabwe's main industry body has warned that many companies that continue operating will shut this month due to the currency shortage.

This threat is also looming for Skynet trading as MultiChoice Zimbabwe, where Lovemore Mangwende, MultiChoice Zimbabwe CEO, died last week from heart failure.

MultiChoice Africa told TVwithThinus in response to a media enquiry as to whether MultiChoice Zimbabwe continues to operate, that "MultiChoice Zimbabwe, trading as Skynet, is carefully monitoring the current situation in Zimbabwe".

"The business is operating as usual, albeit with limited capacity in the interest of employee safety. Customers can refer to the DStv Facebook page for information".

MultiChoice Zimbabwe has now also started telling DStv subscribers in the country that they can ask friends and family to pay their DStv subscription fee from South Africa in rands. These payments can be made at all Shoprite, Checkers, Pick n Pay and Kazang point-of-sale machines. All that's needed is the first 10 digits of the smartcard number in the DStv decoder, not the account number.

"The conversion to rand will happen at the till," says DStv Zimbabwe. "It's a simple, seamless, real-time solution".