All people using cellphones have until the end of the year to register their SIM cards and personal details. This is in line with the RICA Act. RICA is short for Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act. It will help prevent criminals from using cellphones for illegal activities.
Criminals often use cellphones when planning and committing crimes. These include cash heists, bank robberies, house robberies and violent crimes.
The new law, which came into effect from 1 July 2009, will help the police to track down criminals' personal details from their cellphone numbers.
According to the RICA Act, all SIM card users, operators and service providers must register each SIM card with the owner's personal details.
All information will be kept confidential in a secure database and cannot be used for any purpose other than the purposes allowed under the RICA Act.
Easy and free
To register your SIM card is easy and free.
You can register at most stores where you buy a starter pack. To register your SIM card, you have to provide your full name and surname, your cellphone number and identity document.
You must also give proof of your physical address. This is any document like a bank statement, insurance policy, TV or vehicle licence that has your name and address on it.
Safe and secure
If you live in an informal settlement you can provide a letter or affidavit from your nearest school, church or store from where you receive your post.
The letter must be on an official letterhead and have a stamp from the school or church.
All your personal details will be kept in a safe and secure database.
New SIM cards
All new SIM cards must be registered to be activated.
People using older SIM cards will have until 31 December 2010 to register them.
SIM cards that are not registered before 31 December 2010 will be disconnected until they are registered.
- Samona Murugan
- RICA is a legal requirement from government and everyone with a cellphone number in South Africa must obey the law.
- By doing so, you can help to make South Africa a safer place. This law aims to help law enforcement agencies to identify the users of cellphone numbers and track criminals using cellphones for illegal activities.