Local mobile usage for international visitors

  • 08 September 2015 | Kolosa Vuso
Most of us are lost without our beloved mobile devices. Image courtesy of Aftab Uzzaman

In this digital age, it is hard to function without a mobile phone, whether for social media purposes or simply to make phone calls. Most of us are lost without our beloved mobile devices. 

Many international visitors may have international roaming while visiting South Africa, but why not introduce them to our cheaper local data costs rather than going back home to a huge bill? 

When travelling, there are simple things to do to make sure your cellphone is compatible for other countries.  For South African cellphone usage, you are required to purchase a SIM card and have it registered, this process is known has RICA.

Here are a few things your guests need to keep in mind these few RICA facts when visiting South Africa:

What is RICA?

RICA stands for the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, a law passed by the South African government that requires everyone with an active cellphone number to register their SIM cards. With the registration of all contract and prepaid cellphone numbers and SIM cards, tracking criminals using cellphones for illegal activities is easier for law enforcers.

What do you need to bring?

  • Cellphone number
  • The SIM card to be registered
  • Full names and surname
  • Passport number
  • A letter from your hotel or wherever you will be staying while in the country as evidence of accommodation

How long before your mobile phone is activated?

Once you register your SIM card at a customer care centre of your choice, it takes up to 24 hours. To register your SIM card, you need to go to the customer care centre personally to confirm your identity.