Are You Breaking The Law For Using A South African DStv Account?

Alvine Chaparadza Avatar
DStv Decoder

A lot of people and local businesses now have South Africa DStv accounts instead of Zimbabwe DStv accounts. While you probably knew that unaccredited agents who are facilitating the process of opening these South Africa DStv Accounts (SRAs) are doing something illegal, did you know that as a customer you are breaking the law as well in using that account? Multichoice said:

If an agent is not authorised, we at MultiChoice cannot verify that the service to be obtained will be successful and of the right quality, nor can we guarantee that connection to the DStv service will happen at all or it may well be erratic, and the (DStv) service may possibly even be illegally sourced. And with illegal business activity, all parties end up being guilty of involvement, even the customer.

In other words, DStv services that are being delivered in Zimbabwe through SRA DStv accounts are evading tax, so the agent who is installing the service and the one who is receiving the service (the customer) are both breaking the breaking the law.

Accordingly, to avoid being on the wrong side of the law, DStv is asking you to use accredited installers and agents who don’t install illegally sourced services.

Why are people using illegally sourced

The thing is, people turn to unaccredited agents because they are usually close to their residence and better yet, they are cheaper than accredited DStv agents. I’ve just asked two accredited agents how much they charge for the same DStv support services (installing DStv decoder) and I was told $30 and $40 but two unaccredited agents in high density surburbs I’ve just asked are charging $10 and $15.

As customers turn to these close and affordable unaccredited agents, that’s when they are exposed to SRAs DStv accounts – which one can easily get. SRAs are cheaper to subscribe than local accounts so people don’t have second thoughts when given a chance to have them.

A blessing in disguise

Of course, unaccredited agents who deal with SRAs DStv accounts are draining Multichoice Zimbabwe’s revenue. However, not all unaccredited agents are bad. Well, there are unaccredited agents who just deal in local DStv accounts and not SRAs DStv accounts. These type of agents are beneficial to Multichoice Zimbabwe. Why?

These unaccredited agents are increasing the uptake and usage of DStv services since their support services are within the reach of a certain bunch of customers than accredited agents. Additionally and most importantly, their rates for the support services are more affordable than accredited agents. You then realize that this unaccredited network of agents is actually playing a crucial role for Multichoice Zimbabwe (and Dstv too) even though some of them don’t do a perfect job like the accredited agents supposedly do.

What Multichoice should do

Multichoice Zimbabwe should persuade these unaccredited agents (both who deal with with SRAs and local DStv accounts) to come and get trained. After training them, Multichoice Zimbabwe should incentivize the previously unaccredited agents to urge people to use local DStv accounts. If the incentives are not enough to make them stop helping customers to open SRAs DStv accounts, then the only way to put an end to the practice is by just matching the subscription prices and content of Zimbabwe DStv accounts with SRAs DStv accounts. That way, Multichoice will get more revenue whilst it maintains a wide and easily reachable agent network.


What’s your take?

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  1. Phidza

    Hi Alvine. I feel like you did not address the legality of having an S.A account. I think you only addressed issues around using an unaccredited installer. Would you know if there are any advantages in being an accredited installer?

    1. Alvine Chaparadza

      Hi Phidza thanks for the feedback, I’ve added a short paragraph highlighting how customer will be breaking the law. I hope its clear now

      Again, thanks for posing that question, I have to ask DStv the advantages of being an acredited installer.

  2. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    You haven’t provided any proof whatsoever that one is breaking any laws, in either South Africa or Zimbabwe. If asked which specific law is being broken, your answer is going to be “Multichoice said”. If you had a said that a lawyer you consulted advised you so, maybe even that ICASA or POTRAZ has determined so, the story would have a leg to stand on. But, nay, you have nothing but a quotation from a company which also has its own interests to protect. Over and above that, they are not an authority with regards to the law. What is illegally sourced? Stolen, is also illegally sourced. Could they have been referring to that?

    Neither did the quotation imply tax evasion as the crime, but you have somehow deduced that without any backing reasoning. You have further made a baseless assumption that unaccredited installers are not trained. It has been my experience that these “unaccredited” installers, work for (or used to work for) accredited installers. Like any other side job, the rates are cheaper than the employers rates. No-one is picking up coaxial cables, a ladder and a LnB focuser (or whatever it’s called) and declaring themselves to be a DSTV installer. If it was that easy, we’d just install it ourselves.

  3. Never Ncube

    Your article is a disappointment coz you displayed very little knowledge on the subject. Multichoice is actually making a killing out of this Zimbabwe market which runs to millions of brands.

  4. Never Ncube

    Your article is a disappointment coz you displayed very little knowledge on the subject. Multichoice is actually making a killing out of this Zimbabwe market which runs to millions of brands. Furthermore Zimbabweans are also immersely benefiting from South African talent especially when ztv is offering trash.