Rica or get cut off, minister warns

2011-06-29 14:18

Johannesburg - The 5% of South Africans who have not rica'd their sim and data cards must do so before midnight on Thursday, Communications Deputy Minister Obed Bapela said on Wednesday.

"The progress is that 95% have Rica'd overall... that's 37 million sim and data cards done," he said at a briefing in Midrand.

He said the sim and data cards of the remaining 2.7 million would be disconnected unless they had rica'd by midnight on Thursday.

All 8ta customers have already rica'd. Most Vodacom Group [JSE:VOD] shops would stay open until 10pm on Thursday to complete the process. Cell C and MTN Group [JSE:MTN] shops would remain open until midnight.

Bapela said there were queues at shops on Wednesday and service providers had prepared for a last-minute rush.

MTN had registered the cards of 98% of its contract customers and 96% of its prepaid users, while Vodacom had registered 98.4% of those on contract and 93.6% on prepaid.

Cell C had registered 99% of those on contract and 94% of those on prepaid.

Bapela warned that it was not only cellphones which had to be rica'd, but all devices using sim and data cards.

These included 3G modems, home security systems, traffic light systems, teller machines, and electronic gates at complexes.

Service providers said those who were not sure if their cards had been rica'd could check via their cellphones.

Vodacom users could send the word 'rica' to 31050, MTN subscribers could call *131*4#, and Cell C users *133*7422#.


  • Dread69 - 2011-06-29 15:03

    I foresee the mother of all cockups hitting us come Friday morning with wireless communication coming to a standstill.

      resiststance - 2011-06-29 16:31

      Knowing the intellect of the bunch in control they will probably accidentally disconnect everyone who did RICA and leave the rest connected.

  • Mike - 2011-06-29 15:11

    I only had to Rica my sim 3 times in 2 months because MTN are stooooooooooopid. wonder how many valid people will be cut off

  • The Goose - 2011-06-29 15:13

    I just sent the word rica and still no response.It has been 10mins already :(

  • MrMyVoice - 2011-06-29 15:16

    I do not care...cut me off. The government wants to monitor your every movement and hear everything you say. This is no privacy at all.

      resiststance - 2011-06-29 16:30

      Finally somebody with some sense.

  • miya7 - 2011-06-29 15:24

    95% are their original IDs ? or the Nigerians have the way of doing it without an ID?. I wonder how many sin card are registerd as mine(Miya7).

  • Bullet - 2011-06-29 15:25

    It would be interesting to see if the cellphone companies comply with disconnections after the 30th June, cause this means loss of revenue and those people that have not RICA'd are either irresponsible, illiterate or criminals and we now there is more of the latter.

      resiststance - 2011-06-29 16:29

      You left out the fourth option, "Have a spine and don't want to give up right of privacy so easily, to an absolute farce that has nothing to do with crime as easily as the rest of South Africans and thus have not done so" I say it is those who HAVE rica'd that are the lazy ones.

  • MadubulaM - 2011-06-29 15:37

    RICA processes flawed. I was defrauded thru an unscrupolous activity at one of the SP dealershop. As matter of courtesy, I am waiting for SP to provide feedback on the reported case. Mobile Brothers be warned - your personnal details could be in wrong hands - verify before its too late. Requesting to DOC/ICASA to investigate the vulnerability of the process and the SP to respond in next 24hrs or I will go bust with the case. They have my details as reported - I am their loyal client for over 10 years.

  • SuperCal - 2011-06-29 15:47

    Once all the phones are RICA, will that mean that they can get your phone back from the person who stole it? just a thought

  • edis_pilF - 2011-06-29 15:53

    The dead line was before the soccer world cup, this must be the dead dead line

  • Zerolicious - 2011-06-29 15:55

    Big we come...

  • Deon - 2011-06-29 16:01

    Do you really think that we believe you ?? What a joke !!

  • Barend - 2011-06-29 16:07

    Most of the remaining 2,7 million cellphones which have not been Rica'd are probably stolen phones whose "owners" are afraid they will be caught if they go and Rica them. I suppose we will now see a huge surge in cellphone theft, as the only option for this 2,7 million will be to get a phone which has already been Rica'd. :-((

  • patrice - 2011-06-29 16:11

    I await with baited breath to see a single benefit arise from this monstrous big brother exercise.

  • Henk van Tonder - 2011-06-29 18:37

    My Vodacom prepaid SIM was RICA registered three weeks ago without me registering it. Prior to this I received 4 SMS's requesting me to register, but ignored all. When I received an SMS thanking me for RICA registering my SIM I called Customer Care to ask by whom and where the SIM was registered. They could not give me any details. At no point did I ever supply any documentation or an ID to and RICA agent or any Vodacom employee. I bought my SIM years ago from Checkers when you did not have to register to activate it. Three days later my wife received an SMS from Vodacom, thanking her for RICA registering her prepaid SIM, which she also had not RICA registered. Both of us checked the registration status and they were RIKA'd We both went to Vodacom Customer Care in Canal Walk and nobody could assist us. They said they had no access to the personal details of those who registered our SIMS because the information is encrypted and only a court order would reveal the info. To date, neither my wife or I know who's names our phones are now registered. In the last week, four of my mates have told me that their SIMS have also mysteriously been RICA registered without their knowledge by Vodacom. It appears Vodacom are breaking the RICA Act left right and centre.

      Annette - 2011-06-30 10:49

      I agree Henk. It looks li9ke already there is a lot happening that will assist criminals.

      Kgwadi - 2011-06-30 11:23

      If your SIM card is less than 3yrs then means it was RICA`d during application/swap.

  • WHITEPRIDE - 2011-06-29 20:23

    Like hell will i RICA.... lived before without a cellphone can do it again, bet it will be alot more peaceful too.

  • blcksoul84 - 2011-06-30 10:16


  • Annette - 2011-06-30 10:58

    Bapela warned that it was not only cellphones which had to be rica'd, but all devices using sim and data cards. These included 3G modems, home security systems, traffic light systems, teller machines, and electronic gates at complexes. Home security systems not working? Traffic lights not working? teller machines not working? So is the country going to close down this weekend? Thieves are coming out in force? Pray tell me again, why is it for our own protection that we must RIca ?

  • Jedi knight - 2011-06-30 11:44

    Then there will be a tax to have an active sim card , a yearly tax, for having a sim is coming..

  • Raven - 2011-07-01 08:08

    Well, it's Friday morning and my non-RICA'd cell is still operational. Stuff Big Brother. It seems to have registered all by itself during my time spent in dreamland. Hope my car also refuelled itself.

  • Judge Judy - 2011-07-01 12:10


  • Judge Judy - 2011-07-01 12:22

    Woke up this morning expecting my un-RICA'd phone to be off. But no problem, it was done for me and I did'nt have to lift a finger or spend a dime! Checked in with MTN, and yebo-ayoba all is well. What a terrible farce ppl. This load of crap has done nothing to prevent crime. They just now know who u are and where u live if u were honest. If u are a criminal, u paid ten bucks for a false registration and a false address. You will now be phoned and spammed till you go mad!

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