Tag Archives: MultiChoice

MultiChoice unveils innovation fund

Pay TV company MultiChoice has launched an innovation fund aimed at helping small businesses in the video entertainment industry and technology sectors.

Calvo Mawela

An extension of MultiChoice’s existing enterprise development trust, established in 2012, the fund will enable innovators to bring their ideas and dreams to life.

Focusing on businesses led by young people and women, the new fund will address the gender gap and youth unemployment in South Africa while ensuring increased and sustained diversity and inclusion in industries such as tech, film and media. Part of the goal of the innovation fund is to expand on the 11 women-owned and four-youth-owned businesses it has already supported.

Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice group CEO, said: “The video entertainment industry and indeed the world as we know it is on a fascinating digital trajectory and we need to ensure we are ahead of the pack if the continent’s entertainment industry is going to continue to grow sustainably and be globally competitive.

“We anticipate that our innovation fund will spur original thinking and exciting new ideas that will lead to breakthrough moments for these growing entrepreneurs.”

According to MultiChoice, successful beneficiaries will be afforded relevant financial support tailored to the specific circumstances of each case.

“We want to partner with South Africa’s most exciting entrepreneurs, giving them the tools, skills and financial support to bring their original ideas to life,” Mawela added.

“We hope to help create cutting-edge solutions and competitive businesses that will shape the future of South Africa’s technology sector and the video entertainment industry. By investing in and developing entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas, MultiChoice is helping to shape the industries of the future.”

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A+E Networks names regional manager

Nazarene Khan, head of marketing and sponsorship at A+E Networks Africa, has been promoted to regional manager following the departure of Yusuf Nabee.

Nazarene Khan

Nabee, who was made the general manager in May 2016, is leaving the US cabsat broadcaster following the channel carriage dispute that occurred in late 2019 between A+E Networks UK and pay TV platform MultiChoice in South Africa.

The dispute saw MultiChoice-owned DStv dropping A+E Networks’ History, Lifetime and Crime+Investigation channels in November 2019, though a new deal was later agreed to return History and Lifetime to the platform.

Adrian Pilkington, senior VP for commercial and strategy at A+E Networks for the Africa, Middle East, Nordics and the Benelix region, said: “Yusuf, who has been instrumental in establishing A+E’s local presence and building our brands, has decided the time is right to step down from his role.

Yusuf Nabee

“Nazarene Khan has been a key part of the team for the past few years and working alongside Fatime Kaba, our head of programming and scheduling, we have two very talented executives to build upon the foundation that Yusuf has created. I’m delighted to have her heading up our Africa team,” he added.

Khan was the head of marketing and sponsorship for the past two-and-a-half years at A+E Networks Africa. Prior to her appointment at A+E Networks, Khan worked at Urban Brew Studios and Glow TV.

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MultiChoice lays off 1,000-plus staff

Pay TV company MultiChoice has let go of more than 1,000 employees in its call centres and walk-in customer service sites in a bid to restructure its customer service delivery model.

 

The news comes after the company revealed it intended to retrench more than 2,000 of its staff in June last year.

MultiChoice had said that DStv subscribers were not fully utilizing the MultiChoice call centres while the walk-in customer service centres had fewer customer visits.

The company said it has shed just over 1 000 workers who accepted voluntary severance packages. Another 1,000 decided to accept various positions within the company’s structure.

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Government targets MultiChoice monopoly

The Nigerian government has moved to end pay TV group MultiChoice’s monopoly on broadcasting sporting events in the country.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the country’s minister of information and culture, has issued a directive to end the group’s exclusive right to air high-profile sports events and also urged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to re-position the broadcasting industry.

In line with a report approved by president Muhammadu Buhari, the minister has instructed broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share previously exclusive rights with other broadcasters.

“This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly, market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and radio markets,” he said.

The move has “removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees,” Mohammed added.

The breaking up of the monopoly will boost reach, maximise the utilisation by all broadcasters of premium content and grow their platforms and investment in other content, he said.

“Monopolies stunt growth, kill talents and discourage creativity. In the case of Nigeria, it’s the monopoly of content that breeds anti-competition practices. You cannot use your financial or whatever power to corner and hold on tight to a chunk of the market, preventing others from having access. Such monopolies are crumbling everywhere in the world and Nigeria cannot be left out,” said Mohammed.

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Africa Magic unveils reality series

MultiChoice-owned movie channel Africa Magic is launching four new TV reality shows aimed at creating platforms for sharing Africa’s stories as well as investing in the development of local content and talent.

Date My Family, Confessions and Unmarried began airing on January 5, 6 and 8 respectively, while Dr Laser will debut on January 10.

Date my Family is a 45-minute dating show that features a suitor who has to choose a winning date based on his experience with three different families of three potential dates. It will air until April 26.

Confessions is a 30-minute show that enables viewers to witness real-life confessions between siblings, friends and love interests.

Unmarried is a drama series that follows the lives of three friends who encounter challenges in their relationships, careers and dating lives.

Dr Laser is a medical reality show that showcases people undergoing plastic surgery in Nigeria. It reveals what inspires human decisions to undergo such procedures and the aftermath of their decisions. It will show until April 3.

Channel director Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu said: “Reality TV shows are extremely popular because they showcase real people experiencing real-life circumstances and situations, thus connecting with viewers and fans on a more personal and relatable level. Following the success of Big Brother Naija, Date My Family, Dr Laser, Confessions and Unmarried have been curated to address and confront real-life issues from the African perspective.”
The shows are aired on Africa Magic Showcase (channel 151).

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MultiChoice rebrands SA academy

Pay TV company MultiChoice Group has renamed its South African filmmaker development programme to bring it under the broader Talent Factory initiative.

Joe Heshu

The M-Net Magic in Motion academy, established in 2014 with the aim of revolutionising the South African TV and film industry by equipping young talent with skills, will now be known as MultiChoice Talent Factory South Africa.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice’s group executive for corporate affairs said: “MultiChoice wants its development programme to have a name that would not only resonate with the brand of the business but one that would also speak to the talent that is unearthed each year from the students who participate in the initiative.”

Rolled out in 2018, MultiChoice Talent Factory is aimed at empowering the next generation of film creatives and developing their skills.

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MultiChoice prepares for Ultimate Love

MultiChoice Nigeria has unveiled a new relationship-focused reality show, auditions for which are being held this month.

John Ugbe

Ultimate Love will see eight single men living with eight single women in a house in an isolated location for two months, with the participants hoping to find life-long love.

Paired up based on mutual attraction, the contestants will engage in series of locally inspired activities as they attempt to emerge as the ultimate couple.

Similarly to Big Brother, the housemates will be closely monitored by live television cameras and personal microphones as they interact daily with a counsellor.

Viewers will have the opportunity to vote off their least favourite couple on a weekly basis, while the winning couple will be rewarded with a lavish traditional wedding ceremony and a fully furnished home, among other prizes.

Single men and women aged 23 and above who have an active subscription to DStv or GOtv can register to take part in Ultimate Love by clicking here. Auditions are being held from November 22 to 30.

MultiChoice Nigeria CEO John Ugbe said: “Reality TV shows are immensely popular because they showcase real people experiencing real-life situations, thus connecting with viewers and fans on a personal and relatable level. There are fewer things realer than love, and Ultimate Love, our new and exciting reality show, celebrates this.

The show will air live, 24/7 on all DStv and select GOtv packages starting February 2020.

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DStv adds three factual channels

MultiChoice-owned pay TV operator DStv has added three factual channels to its line-up.

Yolisa Phahle

The new networks are CBS Justice, which will replace A+E Networks UK’s Crime + Investigation channel; factual entertainment net CuriosityStream, which was launched by Discovery founder John Hendricks; and Euronews, which returns to the platform it left a few years ago.

MultiChoice general entertainment CEO Yolisa Phahle said: “We’re thrilled to finally announce the launch of these channels that will expand the line-up of new programming for our DStv customers to enjoy.

“CuriosityStream will give our viewers informative entertainment that the family can enjoy together, and it’s with great pride that we are able to launch CBS Justice, a new true crime channel which is part of the CBS AMC Networks EMEA portfolio of channels. We’re also delighted to expand our viewers’ choice of news and actuality programming with Euronews.”

CuriosityStream will feature factual programming including original and exclusive films and series, with titles ranging from Deep Time History and The History of Food to Age of Big Cats and Breakthrough.

CBS Justice will feature a curated selection of original and acquired programming, including original productions The Real Prime Suspect, Donal MacIntyre’s Murder Files, Secrets of a Psychopath and Evidence of Evil; plus acquisitions Cold Justice, Fame Kills and Stalker.

Clint Stinchcomb, president and CEO of CuriosityStream, said: “CuriosityStream is thrilled to premiere on DStv, collaborating with MultiChoice as our inaugural bundled distribution partner in Africa. Viewers are hungry for high-quality, engaging and entertaining factual shows, and CuriosityStream is proud to offer our channel to this important media market.”

Louise Cottrell, senior VP, affiliate partnerships for AMC Networks International UK, added: “This new launch highlights the growing demand for true crime content in the region, and we are thrilled to offer MultiChoice’s DStv customers exclusive access to authentic documentaries and series for the first time on CBS Justice.”

Carolyn Gibson, chief revenue officer at Euronews, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with DStv to reach even more households on the African continent.”

 

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MNet scraps 2019 award shows

African pay TV group MultiChoice’s flagship channel MNet has announced it will not be televising two of its own award shows this year.

The Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) and DStv Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Awards (DMVCAs) will not be aired due to the inability to find sponsors to share the production costs that come with mounting the shows.

The AMVCAs, which started in 2013 to promote and recognise African TV and film productions from across West, East and Southern Africa, had its sixth edition in September 2018 in Lagos. The DMVCAs, which began in 2017 to promote and recognise South Africa’s entertainment industry, had its second edition in November 2018.

According to MultiChoice Africa, the AMVCAs might return in the future while the DMVCAs will take place some time in 2020.

“The AMVCAs requires huge funding to make happen, as well as an alignment between the production, competition and commercial teams, as well as staging it in Nigeria, where there are limited venues capable of a production of this scale,” MultiChoice said.

 

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Patel takes MultiChoice non-exec role

Imtiaz Patel, executive chair of African pay TV group MultiChoice, will be switching to a non-executive role in October 2020.

Imtiaz Patel

The announcement was made shortly after MultiChoice revealed it had added 1.2 million active subscribers in the first half of 2019 and had also upped its operating profit to R4.9bn (US$328m) from R4.1bn in the previous period.

MultiChoice said Calvo Mawela, the group’s current CEO, will assume “full executive responsibility” after Patel’s move.

Patel joined MultiChoice subsidiary SuperSport in 1999 and in March 2005 was appointed CEO.

He was named group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa in 2010. In October 2015, he became CEO of video entertainment for parent company Naspers and then MultiChoice executive chairman early this year.

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DStv retains A+E Networks channels

MultiChoice Group’s pay TV operator DStv has announced it will no longer remove two A+E Networks EMEA channels from its platform.

Yolisa Phahle

The History and Lifetime channels will remain but Crime + Investigation has been cut off.

MultiChoice CEO Mark Rayner revealed the group has signed a new multi-year contract. “We’ve reached an agreement with A+E Networks for terms that we think are acceptable to our DStv subscribers for both History and Lifetime, but Crime + Investigation is still ending,” he said.

“Two further channels from another provider will be announced before the middle of November as a replacement for Crime + Investigation, as well as another factual documentary channel. We’re just finalising technical launch plans so that we can be clear on a launch date.”

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment, added: “We are excited to have reached this agreement as it allows us to ensure we meet our commitment to get the best programming for our customers, based on commercial terms that make sense and provide a value for money offering to customers. We are pleased that Lifetime will also now be available to our Compact package customers.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and feedback and have their best interests in mind as we continue to work hard to improve our entertainment offering.”

“We are pleased to have agreed a long-term renewal of our flagship brands, History and Lifetime, in Africa with our partner DStv. As part of this renewal, the new distribution of Lifetime in Compact presents an exciting opportunity to reach millions of new viewers with our unique programming offering”, said Dean Possenniskie, MD of A+E Networks EMEA.

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Mohammed vows to end TV monopolies

Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, has revealed the government intends to put a stop to the country’s broadcasting monopolies because of the effect they have on the TV industry’s potential.

Lai Mohammed

He made the announcement at a recent a meeting with online publishers in Lagos, adding that he had implemented reforms and inaugurated the National Broadcasting Commission reform implementation committee to impose stiffer penalties on those who violate broadcast regulations.

“A situation where a few people corner a chunk of the industry to the detriment of others, especially our teeming and talented youths, is totally unacceptable and untenable,” Mohammed said.

“Monopolies stunt growth, kill talent and discourage creativity. The clearest example of the creative energy that can be unleashed when monopoly is totally broken can be seen in the telecommunications industry.”

As part of the shake-up, MultiChoice’s current monopoly over the live airing of important sporting events will end.

“In the case of Nigeria, it’s the monopoly of content that breeds anti-competition practices. You cannot use your financial or whatever power to corner and hold on tight to a chunk of the market, preventing others from having access. Such monopolies are crumbling everywhere in the world and Nigeria cannot be left out,” Mohammed added.

Although DStv has the monopoly on the live broadcasting of the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League in Nigeria, a source within the ministry suggested the new era of liberalisation is expected to allow sporting events to be accessed by other pay TV and free-to-air platforms.

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MultiChoice covers IAAF championships

Pay TV operator MultiChoice has launched a pop-up channel covering the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships  on GOtv.

From now until October 8, GOtv Max subscribers can watch the 17th edition of the championships, which begin in Doha, Qatar, today.

World record-holding athletes such as Ethiopian duo Yomif Kejelcha and Genzebe Dibaba are among those competing, said GOtv, adding: “Subscribers can take advantage of the GOtv StepUp offer to upgrade or renew the GOtv Max package by paying a reduced fee of N2,600. The offer runs until 31st October, 2019.”

The channel is available on StarTimes 37.

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DStv Now streaming service blacks out

Streaming service DStv Now crashed suddenly during the broadcast of the opening match of the Rugby World Cup 2019 between NewZealand and South Africa on MultiChoice’s SuperSport channel.

MultiChoice said there was “a problem with the influx of fresh logins on the platform which had to be individually verified.” A message on the channel read: “Sorry, we are unable to play this video right now, something went wrong on our side.”

The streaming service has crashed repeatedly, leaving subscribers unable to watch the premiere episode of the final season of Game of Thrones on M-Net (DStv 101), the finale of The Bachelor SA on M-Net, the English Premier League final, Formula 1 racing and The Voice SA.

Stacey Venter, marketing specialist at MultiChoice’s Connected video division, said: “We are aware of the issues with DStv Now and understand how frustrated our customers are feeling.”

MultiChoice corporate affairs representative Nthabiseng Serote said: “We would like to apologise to some of our DStv Now customers who were unable to access the platform for the Springbok Rugby World Cup 2019 match against the All Blacks. All customers that were logged in ahead of the start of the match were able to view the game seamlessly.

“Our engineering team has been working tirelessly ahead of the Rugby World Cup to ensure preparedness for a record number of online viewers. Our DStv Now app goes through a series of checks during a user’s login to verify the user, their password, package etc. This verification process is quite critical to ensure that our customers are able to have access to the platform for their entertainment requirements.”

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MultiChoice reopens branches

Pay TV operator MultiChoice has begun reopening its Lagos branches after it closed several offices in response to the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa’s Gauteng province.

MultiChoice was one of a number of South African companies to shut branches following the violence but its outlets in Mushin, Surulere and some other parts of Lagos have now reopened – although some remain closed.

The news was confirmed by a member of staff at the Lagos offices of MultiChoice-owned platform DStv, who said: “Some branches reopened on Saturday, but by Sunday morning all [DStv] branches had reopened.”

Describing the looting and vandalism that took place as part of the xenophobic attacks, he added: “Although the office was looking well set and activities going on smoothly, the workers told our reporter that hoodlums last week went away with some television sets and damaged some valuables.

“Those hoodlums entered, scattered the whole place, damaged our air conditioner outside, forcefully removed one of the televisions on the slab and smashed it on the floor. We all ran for our lives. The police later came and chased them away. We are back now, activities have commenced. You are safe here.”

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MultiChoice shuts Nigeria, Zambia branches

Pay TV operator MultiChoice is among the South African companies to have closed branches in Nigeria and Zambia after being targeted in protests against the xenophobic attacks in South Africa’s Gauteng province.

Joe Heshu

A recent spate of xenophobic violence and looting, mainly directed at immigrant-owned shops across Johannesburg, has led to protests against South African-owned businesses elsewhere in Africa. In response, MultiChoice has closed its offices in Nigeria’s Lagos and Zambia capital Lusaka.

MultiChoice head of corporate affairs Joe Heshu said the branches would remain closed until the situation stabilises.

“We have had to shut branches and offices to safeguard customers and staff until further notice. MultiChoice is committed to uniting Africans through our programming and cultural initiatives. We advocate equality and condemn all forms of discrimination. The ongoing violence in South Africa against foreign nationals is against the spirit of Africa and counter-productive to the decades of work done by African leaders and well-meaning organisations to unite the continent.

“We are a proudly African company and although our story began in South Africa, today we represent the African continent in all its diversity through our presence across the region. We embrace and celebrate the diversity of varied nationalities, traditions, cultures and religions from across the continent and beyond.

“This is demonstrated through our multinational staff complement, our multicultural supply chain, as well as the local and international content that we showcase on both our DStv and GOtv platforms. We believe Africa’s full potential can only be realised through dialogue, peace and unity. This is a sombre period for every African on the continent and beyond, and we urge all our customers, followers and stakeholders to shun violence.”

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BBCS creates new BBC Lifestyle feed

BBC Studios (BBCS) has announced plans to create a separate BBC Lifestyle commercial channel that will be broadcast across Sub-Saharan Africa, in countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Sarah-Jane Harling

From September 1, advertisers in those countries will be able to reach modern female audiences through the channel feed, which is available across sub-Saharan Africa on MultiChoice’s pay TV service for DStv Premium, DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact subscribers.

Sales for the BBC Lifestyle feed will be managed by MultiChoice’s DStv media sales arm on behalf of BBCS and advertisers targeting South African and SADC audiences will be able to reach those upmarket audiences on the current BBC Lifestyle feed.

“This will enable advertisers to target client needs through a combination of traditional advertising spots and tailored creative solutions,” said BBCS in a statement.

Cookery, entertainment series and aspirational design shows on BBC Lifestyle will include Come Dine With Me South Africa, Dinner Dates, Bake Off: The Professionals and the newly commissioned First Dates South Africa, which are watched by Kenyan and Nigerian audiences.

Sarah-Jane Harling, advertising account director for Africa at BBCS, said: “This is a significant step to offer brands the opportunity to align with BBC Lifestyle’s premium global and local content and extensive reach across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“With its unique mix of entertaining programming, the channel now offers dedicated ad breaks for South Africa and Africa, and remains a very attractive environment for advertisers operating on the continent.

“It enables BBC Lifestyle to assist brands wanting to specifically reach aspirational households in South Africa as well as consumers in Sub-Saharan Africa separately.”

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MultiChoice academy sees first graduates

The MTF graduates pictured at Nairobi Film Centre in Kenya

The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) film academy, which launched in Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya last May, has held its first graduation ceremony, honouring 20 students from its East Africa hub in Kenya.

As well as receiving certificates from the Kenyatta University accredited training programme, the students have various landed placements and internships at institutions such as the New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) in the US.

Other students’ next moves include a Bollywood production internship with Nihilent in India; a Nollywood production scriptwriting internship on an Africa Magic series produced in Lagos; training for an infinite AVID media composer licence; and working towards an AVID Pro Tools licence with Jasco Broadcast Solutions.

“Those who made the cut have certainly proved their potential, and all the graduates’ hard work during the programme has led to this moment,” said Njoko Muhoho, MTF East Africa director.

“It was truly a privilege to witness as the students worked diligently and demonstrated exactly how important a programme such as the MTF academy is for the preservation of Africa’s creative film and TV industry. I couldn’t have been prouder of the students for the work they have so far put in, and for what lies ahead of them.”

Maharage Chande, MultiChoice director for the Northern region, added: “We’ve encountered some challenges as we travelled our way along this journey, but with the remarkable support of our stakeholders, partners and supporters, we soldiered on and have emerged stronger for the creative industry as a whole.”

Cheryl Uys-Allie, MTF director, said: “From the outset, we at MultiChoice believed that working in partnership with creative organisations across the continent and beyond would contribute towards making this initiative a success for the students and broader creative industry.

“We truly thank the partners who have come on board to contribute towards equipping our emerging creatives with the technical skills they need to expertly navigate our industry. As the old African proverb says, ‘If you want to run fast, go alone. If you want to run far, go together.’ It’s our hope that we will see more partners joining us to ignite Africa’s creative industry further.”

MTF has partnered with various institutions and organisations to ensure the success of the initiative and also with the world-renowned NYFA.

The MTF was launched to support and grow Africa’s creative film and TV industries by offering training opportunities to young emerging filmmakers. Successful applicants won a place on a 12-month fully funded training programme run by three regional academy directors, Muhoho (East Africa), Berry Lwando (Southern Africa) and Femi Odugbemi (West Africa), who each took on 20 students.

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SuperSport, SABC sign PSL deal

MultiChoice’s SuperSport and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) have signed a five-year deal giving the latter free-to-air rights to South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Calvo Mawela

Discussing the deal, sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “Our duty is to deliver on our promises and resolve issues raised by our people.

“Thus, I am happy to announce that all parties have concluded an agreement on commercial terms with the SABC allowing them to broadcast Premier Soccer League matches on television for our people.

“I would like to thank all the participants – MultiChoice‚ the PSL and the SABC – for their positive approach which ensures that ordinary South Africans are able to access football in our country. We recognise the importance of sport, and in this instance football, in promoting national cohesion and commend all stakeholders involved.”

PSL chairman Irvin Khoza expressed his satisfaction over the willingness of the sports ministers and SABC to facilitate a commercial agreement that ensures the sustainability of the PSL as one of the top 10 football leagues in the world.

MultiChoice Group CEO Calvo Mawela added: “We remain committed to the long-term investment in sports in South Africa and the rest of Africa. In the previous financial year, MCG invested over R2.3bn in sports on the continent.

“An important element of the investment is in sports broadcasting and sponsorship rights, which provide critical revenue streams for sports bodies that filter down to every tier and have an undeniable impact on the development of sport.”

SABC Group CEO Madoda Mxakwe said: “In line with our public mandate, we are pleased to have reached an agreement in the interest of the South African public. Most importantly, this commercially viable deal is aligned to the goal of having a financially sustainable public broadcaster.

“The SABC will continue to discharge its public mandate in a manner which is not only sustainable for the organisation, but ensures that the South African public have access to sports of national interest such as the PSL.”

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ICTU calls strike over MultiChoice job cuts

MultiChoice workers are making plans to stage a nationwide strike to protest at job cuts at the company.

The move comes weeks after MultiChoice revealed its intention to retrench more than 2,000 employees in its call centres and walk-in customer service centres.

According to the Information Communication Technology Union (ICTU), the underpaid workers of MultiChoice SA have decided to stand up for their rights even though the strike will affect all of MultiChoice’s 7.7 million DStv customers in South Africa who have made payment or service queries.

“This strike comes at the time when MultiChoice has deployed new integrated billing system on August 21 and it is experiencing its own failures,” the ICTU said.

“It is expected that the strike action will be adding fuel to the fire and ICTU will not stand on the sidelines and allow workers to be retrenched for fictitious reasons.

“What irritates workers most is that MultiChoice has secretly entered into a third-party agreement to service clients to perform current functions yet they claim technological usage is the reason to retrench.”

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice’s executive for corporate affairs, expressed disappointment at the strike call and said that the group would continue consulting with labour on the proposed restructure in the customer care division.

“This would be under the guidance of the commissioner appointed by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, in line with the Labour Relations Act,” said Heshu.

“The threatened strike action is not only unprotected, it is also illegal. We call on all parties to act in a manner that will ensure the best outcome for impacted employees.”

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