Government delays Rica deadline

2010-11-11 11:25

Cape Town - Cabinet has approved a six-month extension of the deadline for the registration of customers of mobile cellular operators.

In terms of legislation, cellphone users had to register their sim cards by the end of December this year.

Briefing the media on Thursday, following Cabinet's Wednesday meeting, government spokesperson Themba Maseko said the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act would be amended shortly to extend the deadline by six months.

"All indications are that the number of people who have registered for Rica was still quite low... .So this is an attempt to give the cellphone companies more time," Maseko said.

"It is difficult to point fingers at them at this stage because the success of the system depends entirely on citizens coming forward to submit their details. So if cellphone users are not going to the companies it is difficult for the companies to actually chase them."

Mobile operators would be required to report to government on how they planned to comply with the new deadline, he said.

  • Bruce - 2010-11-11 12:00

    This is so typical - the continued moving of deadlines. How will we South Africans learn to do things on time if we keep pandering to the whims of the procrastinators? If the problem is so bad that they could not get people to register within the period given, what makes them think an additional 6 months will be sufficient? I thought it would have been a simple matter of "you're not registered, we're cutting you off until you do" - but NOOOO... the service providers probably sensed that they'd be cutting off their revenue stream if they did that... and probably guilty by not doing more to get people to register. We have this habit of leaving everything to the last minute: The conversion to card-sized drivers licences, the renewal of gun licences, changing details to ensure ability to vote... and when everyone rushes at the last minute to do so, and the queues are long, it's the fault of government. Learn to be accountable for your own actions, or in this case, inactions.

      Deon - 2010-11-11 13:12

      Bruce, I agree with you !! Incompetent people yet again not doing what they are supposed to do & instead of consequences, just another extension of the deadline. Typical !!!!

  • HeyApple - 2010-11-11 12:35

    I have not registered for RICA on purpose, and I won't. I hope to see when will they finally cut me off, and then I'll just cancel my contract. I have received dishonest SMS's from Vodacom warning me that I have only 3 days left to register and also that I have contractual obligations to do so.

      Freddie - 2010-11-11 15:33

      If you have a contract, Vodacom know all about you.

  • SSDD - 2010-11-11 12:58

    WOW. The sad thing is that some people actually fall for this citizen controlling, corrupt ANC scam - RICA. There is no chance I will register for this and won't advise anyone to do different. I would love to see them close down contracts of citizens who has not registered - that will be the day - will cost the service providers millions of rands. You want to tell me they will have that happen? Please

  • SymbolOfLife - 2010-11-11 13:03

    The RICA concept could have been approached a little differently, over a longer timespan and without any major issues. For one, they should never ask or expect customers to go through anything laborious such as going in to a cell shop on a weekend (or weekday during a rushed lunch) to get something silly as this done. It is expected that the support will be minute. Another approach would be, seeing as cellphone contracts are mostly signed for 24 months, is to have you go through the RICA process when you renew your contract. Although it then has a window period of 24 months from implementation, there is no requirement from existing customers for extra effort. And this way, all contract owners will be RICA'd in due time. New contracts can be RICA'd on the spot. The only customers that will be required to in to a outlet to get RICA'd this way will be the pre-paid customer base. But, seeing as a lot of criminal activity is committed using pre-paid numbers, that can maybe be restricted to a 12 month registration, after which unRICA'd prepaid numbers are disconnected. Again, someone, somewhere did not thing clearly.

  • DianaCroat - 2010-11-11 13:14

    I don't understand the need to RICA? THe government has all my details from my tax returns etc..... I do not receive post so cannot prove my home address but I have lived at the same address for 15 years (postal f... up). ANy suggestions anyone?

      SymbolOfLife - 2010-11-11 13:22

      I RICA'd my number...and within two weeks I moved to a new all and all it wont help the Govt or the service provider, as, according to them, I still live at my old place...

  • Shadoz - 2010-11-11 14:12

    yip big brother is here do you all realize by us registering our numbers with these fools we have given them the right to listen to our private phone calls at any time they choose.

  • tracy.davids - 2010-11-11 14:14

    @SymbolOfLife - I work for company that has provided functionality to RICA someone on your cellphone,so the process need not be laborious at all!

      Paralegal - 2010-11-12 08:24

      Tracy, please tell us more. My husband is disabled and unable to go to RICA, he also does not receive any mail as all the accounts are in my name. Nobody has been able to give me any sort of solution to this problem other than schlepping him to a police station to sign an Affidavit in which case I might as well get the ambulance to take him to a cellphone shop!

  • AllHoliday - 2010-11-11 14:22

    I cannot see the need for the delay, nor the need for registration, but as a good citizen, I have registered. Why is it always the law abiding citizens (easy targets) that have to oblige. Just cut off the service to the ones who do not register, it's not rocket sience. Let them cancel their contracts, they will soon get another ( everyone is lately so dependent on the little thing), and then you get them to register. EASY!

  • derek.t.robinson - 2010-11-11 15:15

    Most of you have it wrong. RICA is not to 'track' you. It is to make sure you say who you are. This will not eliminate fraud as IDs can be fraudulent, but it should reduce dishonest and fraudulent use of cell phones for stealing, scams etc. Should someone contact you on a cell phone as part of blackmail, harassment etc. you should have a better chance of taking action. Now you can call someone completely anonymously for whatever reason. This will not deter professional criminals. Most countries have this. It is a schlep to RICA though. MTN says I am not RICA, although I renewed my contract 6 months ago.

  • BMAN - 2010-12-08 13:41

    PEOPLE! .. RICA is meant to stop criminal cell use???? let me enlighten u; criminals dont use their own phones for crime, they use urs after theyve stolen it from u. I dont see how RICA will address a situation wherein a criminal is using someone else's phone. RICA is a scam. The GOVT wants to control us. RICA was passed by those fools in parliament! the same fools who run the country.... u wanna trust their judgement?? not me buddy, no sir! Stand up for your privacy and say NO NO NO to RICA! Criminals will just use stolen phones instead. Also, u really believe vodacom will cut off even 30% of their users??? NOWAYS, too much money lost

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