Rica, or bust

South Africans who do not have their SIM cards registered by the end of the day on Thursday will have their cellphone numbers deactivated.

Rica is the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act, which came into effect on July 1 2009 and requires the details of all telecommunication users to be registered.

The legislation aims to assist law enforcement agencies in tracking criminals using telecommunications services for illegal activities.

Tiyani Rikhotso, spokesperson for the communications ministry, likened South Africa’s need to implement Rica to that of India, where telecommunications services were intercepted in order to decipher threats by terrorists to bomb locations during this year’s Cricket World Cup.

Mobile companies Cell C, MTN and Vodacom say they have registered more than 90% of their customers. An estimated 2.7-million South Africans will be disconnected from their cellphone networks on Friday.

Telkom has reportedly said that all 8ta customers had complied with Rica requirements.

Engineering News reported on Wednesday that mobile operators had spent more than R500-million on the Rica process, to ensure that subscribers were registered before Friday’s deadline.

Karin Fourie, public and media relations manager at Cell C, said it was too soon to determine the possible financial impact of the cut-off. However, “there will be many last minute registrations … Customers who missed the deadline will want to be reconnected … and many customers might use this opportunity to join our network,” she said.

Rikhotso said cellphone companies and the government had embarked on extensive campaigns to try to reach as many South Africans as possible, with Rica stations at cellphone and other retail stores, spaza shops and in taxi ranks.

It costs nothing to register a SIM card to comply with Rica, but registrants are required produce an identity document and proof of residence.

Customers who do not have a permanent residence are expected to provide a written letter from their landlord. Registrants in rural areas may also present a letter from a school, church or shop near to where they live or receive post. An affidavit with a police station stamp will also be accepted.

Eddie Moyce, a customer service executive at MTN, said that the database in which the Rica information is stored is secure and can only be accessed through a subpoena, thus ensuring customers’ privacy.

Those who miss the deadline will have six months to reactivate their numbers, which will take up to 24 hours after registering through the Rica process.

However, failure to register within six months could result in customers losing their cellphone numbers permanently.

Ayanda Sitole
Ayanda Sitole
Ayanda Sitole works from Johannesburg South Africa. Writer. Photographer. Proudly SA Ayanda Sitole has over 684 followers on Twitter.
Advertisting

R1.1-billion land claim “captured”

This story was produced in partnership with Pulitzer Center. Details of the land claim settlement for MalaMala, one...

Lekwa municipality won’t answer questions about why children died in...

Three children are dead. More than a dozen homes have been gutted by fires in the past six months. And, as...

Failure to investigate TRC cases during the Mandela era delayed...

Counsel for late trade unionist Neil Aggett’s family decries the slow pace of instituting an inquest into his death

SANDF colonel accused of swindling colleagues in UN business scam

A senior soldier who is part of South Africa’s peacekeeping missions is accused by her colleagues of swindling them out of of hundreds of thousands of rands in a nonexistent business deal
Advertising

Press Releases

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.