01 July 2009

South Africa: All SIMcards required to be registered. How to register a SIMcard as a tourist?

As from today, 01 July 2009, all SIM cards in South Africa require to be registered. Reason is the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Amendment Act (Rica) which "aims to help law enforcement agencies investigate and combat serious crime" (Justice Minister Jeff Radebe).
Therefore all cellphone service providers need to capture the customer’s cell number, full names, identity number and address (and verify the information) before they can activate a new SIM card.

Residents in South Africa need to present:
  • Proof of identity: barcoded ID document, an ID card, temporary ID certificate, or passport
  • Proof of physical address: any document that included one’s name and residential address, such as a bank statement, municipal rates, cellphone or retail account not older than 3 months, existing lease, rental or credit agreement, insurance policy, current TV or motor vehicle licence.
But what about tourist coming to South Africa?
Well, we at TravelComments.com contacted Vodacom & got the following answer:

Visitors to South Africa, who use their own home network's SIM card, such as Vodafone UK, Vodafone Australia, are not required to register these SIM cards.
However, when a visitor to South Africa opt to use a Vodacom Prepaid SIM card whilst travelling in South Africa they will be required to register this SIM card with Vodacom to have the SIM card activated on the network.
For the registration at a RICA agents, visitors will be required to provide the following information:
  • cellphone number,
  • last four digits on the SIM card,
  • full name/surname (passport document), and
  • an address where they will be staying during their visit.
There are no documents to be purchased - registration will be handled by any RICA agents, across all distribution channels in South Africa.

1 comment:

  1. Mozambique will, after an anonymous viral text message campaign fuelled riots that killed 14, start to register all non-contract mobile phone users. This will also affect all travellers in Moz who are going to buy a simcard and airtime to make use of their cell phones in the country. More on http://bit.ly/ba0rUK