Rica or bust, users told

2011-06-24 00:00

CELLPHONE users have only seven days left to “Rica” their SIM cards.

The Communications Department has advised users to avoid disruption by registering their SIM cards before June 30.

Many of those who are still unregistered are in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We really encourage cellphone users to register their SIM cards to avoid being cut off because we’re not going to extend the deadline,” said department spokesperson Tiyani Rikhotso.

Contract users will still need to pay their subscriptions even if they are cut off, cellphone providers warned.

Under the country’s Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-related Information Act passed in 2008, cellphone SIM cards must be registered as a measure to help prevent their use in crime.

Rikhotso said if people do not heed to the call, they will not only will be cut off, but “in the long run they will completely lose their numbers”.

“I don’t think there is any person who would wants to have their Facebook, Twitter, Mxit, MMS, voice messages … disconnected, because nowadays we use our cellphones for everything,” said Rikhotso.

Everything that uses a SIM card needs to be “Rica-ed”, such as 3G data cards, data modems and even some household burglar alarms.

More than 90% of cellphone subscribers and pre-paid users have registered.

The xxecutive head of media relations at Vodacom, Richard Boorman, said, “I think it’s human nature to do things on the last-minute rush.”

He told The Witness they will cater for people registering late by erecting 200 tents at schools and taxi ranks for registrations.

Cell C spokesperson Karin Fourie said KZN remains a challenge and various initiatives have been implemented.

Vodacom customers should SMS the word ‘RICA’ to 31050.

MTN customers should dial *131*4#.

Cell C customers shoul dial *131*7422#.

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