Netflix South Africa vs ShowMax: Which Streaming Service Is The Best for You?

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netflix south africa vs showmax

When ShowMax launched their internet streaming service in South Africa on 18 August 2015, South Africans sick of steep DSTV subscription fee increases rejoiced. However, 7 January 2016 introduced another player to the streaming game with the launch of Netflix in South Africa, confirming internet rumours that Netflix and chill would be more than just a pipe-dream…

But, which internet streaming service comes out on top now that they’ve both had a fair chance to get going on local soil? Here’s a Netflix-ShowMax comparison with real user reviews from VavaVox to help you choose the best streaming service for your needs:




Users can get Netflix in South Africa from US$7.99 per month depending on the package they select. Netflix also offers users a free trial month to test out its service.

The downside is that Netflix South Africa’s fee fluctuates with the exchange rate, which could lead to some nasty surprises in the event of another Nenegate…


ShowMax is available in South Africa for a fixed rate of R99 per month, meaning your bank statement is not at the mercy of our exchange rate. However, their 7 day free trial means users get far less time to explore their content offerings than with Netflix.



If you used unblocking servers to access Netflix USA through devious means in the past, think carefully about switching to Netflix South Africa which is priced the same as Netflix USA with less content

Although Netflix South Africa offers Netflix’s compelling original content like Making a Murderer and Marvel’s Jessica Jones, many users are less than impressed by the content on offer. “A lot of the series that I wanted to watch weren’t available to stream and I just wasn’t too impressed with their catalogue,” says Read review.

You won’t be able to catch several hit shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards on Netflix South Africa any time soon, as Multichoice scooped up regional licensing rights years ago…


What sets ShowMax apart from Netflix South Africa is scores of local content, including Afrikaans films and series like Getroud Met Rugby and Vetkoekpaleis and isiZulu series like isiBaya. “Love the Afrikaans content available and much cheaper than DSTV,” says VavaVox user Vincent. Read review.

The option to download content from ShowMax to watch at a later stage is an outstanding feature with no comparable offering from Netflix (without the help of a sneaky screen recorder). ”I can download content to my tablet for the kids to watch when on a road trip. This keeps them busy for hours on the road,” says ShowMax user benniestander. Read review.



Even on Netflix’s most basic offering, users can add up to five separate profiles with personalised movie and TV suggestions (although only two users can stream simultaneously on Netflix’s basic plan). “It’s great for families and for introducing friends to the service,” says Read review.


ShowMax similarly offers 2 simultaneous HD streams per account, along with the option to access the service from 5 different devices. However, if you run into any difficulties, local-based support could be one of ShowMax’s top perks. “Their support works amazingly,” says VavaVox reviewer Vincent. “I sent them a message on Sunday afternoon. They responded several times that evening still.” Read review.

Who comes out on top in the ShowMax vs Netflix South Africa showdown? Share your experiences by reviewing ShowMax or reviewing Netflix on VavaVox.

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