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In terms of the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA), the compulsory registration of all SIM cards in use came into effect on 1 July 2009. The Act requires mobile operators, service providers and sellers to register on secure databases the identities, physical address and cellular phone numbers of new and existing customers who buy SIM cards. All cell phone subscribers, both prepaid and contract, will be required to show proof of identity and to present a utility bill to show proof of residence in order to be registered. Existing subscribers will have 18 months from implementation date to register both their prepaid and contract SIM cards. SIM cards of subscribers that fail to comply with RICA within the specified time period will be deactivated.
The full text of the law is available on the South African Government Information site.
Here are some RICA FAQs:
What is RICA?
RICA is the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act. RICA is the new law from the South African Government that requires everyone to register all new and existing cell phone numbers from 1 July 2009. New SIM cards will only be activated on the cellular networks once registered. Existing cell phone hone numbers that are already active on the cellular networks must be registered within 18 months from the effective date.
Why must you register?
Which cell phone numbers must be registered?
All contract and prepaid cell phone numbers and data SIM cards must be registered:
Where do you register?
You can register at most stores where you can buy a starter pack. For more information, contact your cellular network’s Customer Care Centre or visit their website.
What information and documentation do you need to take with you to register?
You are required to register the following information:
How much will it cost you to register?
RICA is absolutely free.
When must you register?
What is going to be done with your information?
All information will be kept confidential in a secure data base and cannot be used for any purpose other than the purposes allowed under the RICA Act.