Tag Archives: Joe Heshu

MultiChoice signs with Duma Collective

MultiChoice Group, the largest pay TV company in Africa, has appointed Johannesburg-based Duma Collective as its lead creative communications agency.

Sibu Mabena

The agency will oversee public relations and social media for MultiChoice-owned pay TV platform DStv, its general entertainment channels and the group’s corporate branding.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice Group executive for corporate affairs, said: “Duma Collective has earned its place as a premier creative communications agency. It is a young agency that pushes the envelope and is closest to the pulse of South Africa’s creative industry. They are a natural fit in ensuring our platforms continue being the voice of South Africa’s ingenious industry.”

Duma Collective director Sibu Mabena said of MultiChoice’s move: “They recognise that we are trying our best to contribute to the economy and contribute to the growth of our country, and they want to be part of that. It’s been a crazy experience seeing us go from a small boutique agency to this formidable creative communications firm and MultiChoice has been a catalyst in getting us here.”

Duma Collective has been a MultiChoice service provider since 2019 and has worked on campaigns such as the DStv Showcase, Phuthuma Nathi, DStv Premiership, new show launches for flagship network M-Net and streamer Showmax, as well as the recent Channel O’s Lockdown House Party.

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MultiChoice, YES train 300 young people

Pay TV company MultiChoice has partnered with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to train more than 300 learners as part of its continued commitment to South Africa’s youth.

Joe Heshu

The learners will take part in programmes, dubbed learnerships, that will involve the training of 225 young people in information and communications technology and internships where 75 technical and vocational education and training students will intern across a diversified portfolio that includes HR, finance, marketing, law and IT.

They will also receive employment opportunities, either with MultiChoice or externally.

Joe Heshu, group director for corporate affairs at MultiChoice, said: “The main objective for this programme is to create work opportunities for youth who have previously not been afforded the opportunity. It is our contribution to responding to youth unemployment in a meaningful way that impacts our communities.

“MultiChoice has long been an advocate for South Africa’s youth, providing mentorship opportunities and a platform for young people to tell their stories. This year we have deepened our commitment to the youth and through partnerships such as the one with YES we hope to continue to have a meaningful impact on the lives of young South Africans.”

This is the second year MultiChoice has taken in a cohort of learners as part of the programme and has created more than 400 new job opportunities as well as100 sports coaching learnerships through its Let’s Play initiative.

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MultiChoice blamed for SA digital delay

Former South Africa communications minister Yunus Carrim has blamed pay TV company MultiChoice for the slow progress of the country’s migration to digital.

Yunus Carrim

In his testimony to SA’s Zondo Commission, an ongoing judicial inquiry into political corruption, Carrim claimed a hefty R553m (US$35m) deal between MultiChoice and pubcaster SABC was intended to ensure the latter’s support in the pay TV giant’s anti-encryption strategy.

MultiChoice has long been opposed to signal encryption, and Carrim said this was because it would make it easier for rivals like E.tv to enter the African pay TV market and compete with its DStv pay service.

To prevent that from happening, the company inserted a clause into its SABC agreement that ensured the public broadcaster followed its stance on encryption, according to Carrim.

The former communications minister said MultiChoice’s then CEO, Imtiaz Patel, made it clear that the clause was a deal-breaker.

“This, for me, is a very clear example of regulatory or policy capture whereby irregular means are used to shape government policy. There is absolutely no reason to include, in a commercial transaction between the SABC and DStv, a clause which deals with government policy on encryption,” Carrim said.

Joe Heshu

“Lobbying by MultiChoice was very primitive. Very backward. It is not consistent with the social democracy we are. It has caused a huge setback to the digital migration process. It suits them because they can retain their monopoly.

“The delay in digital migration and the subsequent allocation of valuable new spectrum to operators is costing South Africa dearly.”

In response, Joe Heshu, MultiChoice group executive for corporate affairs, said Carrim’s allegations were baseless.

“MultiChoice and its officials deny these allegations. Carrim confirmed under oath that he cannot attest to having personal knowledge of any fraud or corruption in respect of the SABC/MultiChoice agreement.

“We have informed the Zondo Commission that we will respond to the allegations made against us in due course and reserve all of our rights.”

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South Africa’s eNCA goes HD

South African news channel eNCA has switched to a high-definition feed and begun a studio revamp.

Joe Heshu

eNCA, which launched 11 years ago on MultiChoice pay TV platform DStv (channel 403), is now available in HD  across South Africa and other countries within the Southern African Development Community.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice’s head of corporate affairs, said: “In line with our purpose of giving and delighting our viewers with great-quality content and entertainment, eNCA’s launch of the high-tech HD studio on our platform is just one more way of ensuring we can play a role in supporting the growth of the local TV industry and creating lasting partnerships with local stakeholders which will guide the success of the industry.”

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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 partners Joburg Film Festival

MultiChoice Group has partnered with the third edition of the annual Joburg Film Festival, which is set to take place from November 19 to 24.

Joe Heshu

Aimed at showcasing the finest films from Africa and the world, the six-day film programme will have a line-up of local and international films that will be judged on elements such as storyline, direction, creativity, cinematography, relevance, execution and technical application.

The judges will be industry-leading experts such as renowned storyteller and South African novelist Zakes Mda, award-winning actress CCH Pounder and Femi Odugbemi, West Africa MultiChoice Talent Factory’s academy director.

Joburg Film Festival executive director Tim Mangwedi said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than the MultiChoice Group, an organisation that is passionate about African storytelling, as we believe our stories are our gold.

“We see the film festival as a critical catalyst for social cohesion, showcasing a special collection of films that celebrate Africa’s beauty, people and creativity and reflecting the continent’s bold spirit and talent. We are confident that, in collaboration with the MultiChoice Group, we can build a world-class annual film festival that becomes entrenched on the international film circuit and positions Johannesburg as a prime destination for local and international filmmakers.”

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice’s executive group corporate affairs, said: “As Africa’s leading storyteller, our partnership with the Joburg Film Festival makes perfect sense. Our collaborative effort to bring African stories to the world and to provide a platform for local talent to shine will be an extremely positive boost for the film industry on the continent.”

The festival will allow industry professionals from the continent and elsewhere to participate in a series of masterclasses and panel discussions covering aspects of the filmmaking craft. It will also foster strong links between people and the growing film, TV and new digital media industries on the continent.

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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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SuperSport to cease airing CAF matches

MultiChoice Group’s SuperSport has revealed it will stop broadcasting Confederation of African Football (CAF) content until further notice.

The pay TV channel will not be able to air the AFCON under-23 championship and qualifiers, which are meant to kick off this weekend, after the agreement between the CAF and France-based media group Lagardère Sports was terminated.

Joe Heshu, MultiChoice’s executive for corporate affairs, said: “SuperSport is in a difficult position where it cannot broadcast the CAF games without a firm contract in place. SuperSport had previously bought these broadcast rights from Lagardère.”

CAF scrapped a US$1bn TV and marketing rights deal with Lagardère Sports after a Cairo court ruled that the agreement violated Egyptian competition rules because Lagardère was chosen as CAF’s exclusive agent for rights for an uninterrupted 20-year period without an open tender.

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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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