Vodacom deregistering SIM cards

2011-08-12 12:51

Cape Town - Vodacom is deregistering SIM cards that were pre-registered for Rica (Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, 2002) and sold to the public.

"Vodacom has identified almost one million SIMs which have been registered but not yet activated. All of these SIMs have now been deregistered. This means that these SIMs cannot be sold and used without first being registered in the new customer's name," Vodacom told News24.

Media reports following the Rica deadline found that many SIM cards were pre-registered and sold without buyers having to go through the Rica process.

Members of the public were able to buy the SIM cards without presenting any residential details or identification as prescribed by the Act. This effectively undermined the Act which seeks to ensure that each SIM card is linked to a traceable person.

Vodacom and the department of justice and constitutional development addressed the issue of fraudulent sales of SIM cards at a joint press conference.

Stamping out fraud

The mobile operator will also deregister SIM cards that have been registered, but not activated for a period of 30 days.

"The company is also checking all instances where numerous SIM cards were registered in the name of a single customer," Vodacom said.

SIM cards registered in the name of companies would be investigated and Vodacom said it would verify the details with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.

The action could potentially affect thousands of South Africans who bought the fraudulent SIM cards, but the company seems unapologetic about their deregistration programme.

"By taking these actions, we're closing down avenues that criminals could use to hide their identity.  We'll continue to engage with the relevant authorities as they implement additional measures to stamp out fraudulent activity," said Portia Maurice, Vodacom chief officer of corporate affairs.

The company said that the public can report suspected fraudulent Rica activity by calling Vodacom's forensic department at 082 111.

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  • Stortkraan - 2011-08-12 13:21

    Watch this space for vodadom deregistering a lot of valid customers' cards

      Jenny - 2011-08-12 13:57

      They've already started...

  • Because I Can - 2011-08-12 13:29

    How then does a person who lives in a Shack or Squatter-camp get a legal SIM card if he has no fixed abode. This law is discriminatory and unconstitutional.......

      Banned - 2011-08-12 14:25

      You make an affidavit confirming your address

      Krush - 2011-08-12 14:29

      Do the police really go check? Fake affidavits.

      MTRJ - 2011-08-15 09:20

      @Because I Can: You make a good point. Only the people with a proper fixed address is legitimately registered. How will the affidavit of a squattercamp resident look like??? do they have streets and shack numbers? This whole warra warra about how this is almost fraud proof is BS.

  • Gav31 - 2011-08-12 13:37

    What about deregistering all those cards that were registered on spaza shops in the street corners? People simply had to pay between R5-R20 without producing the necessary docs and they were registered. Funnily enough, the media has been slow to follow up on that saga!

  • Burnicus - 2011-08-12 13:58

    How about the fact that these so called "RICA agents" who look at your ID and proof of residence are just some minimum wage earning person standing behind the counter. You can't tell me they have a shred of credibility or that not a single one of them will ever make a mistake or commit fraud. RICA is just an expensive joke that has added huge hurdles to the mobile industry. If a single criminal is brought to justice as a direct result of their name on their SIM card, I will shave RICA into my head.

  • Redwine - 2011-08-12 20:12

    Rica is a load of cr-p. I have had the same mobile no with Vodacom ever since mobile phones came out some 18 years ago. I have not lived in SA for the past 10 years but kept the mobile as a roaming option since I conduct banking in SA. I notified Vodacom that I cannot Rica since I do not have any proof of address in SA and if they do not accept they should cut me off. I suspect my R3000 per month phonebill however speaks louder the phone still works and my status on account indicates me as being compliant. Only they will know what adress they have since I am 5000km away.

  • Harold - 2011-08-12 21:39

    Please deregister mine - I am so hacked off with Vodacom I'd rather go without than use them ever again

  • Hennie - 2011-08-13 07:14

    If they manage to catch even one criminal with Rica it will surely be the dumbest criminal in SA. A nice paranoid government spying tool though.

  • Fred - 2011-08-13 09:50

    I will sue them for loss of income if it happens to me. My phone is essential to running my business successfully.

  • Theunis - 2011-08-13 16:00

    Ag please !!!One might understand that cell companies de-register sim cards that have never been used,but a registered sim that have not been used for a month? Ag come off it.According to so called terms and conditions by cell companies,one forfeight one's available air time if not used within three months.There is nobody in buisines that can exploit loopholes and shortfall's in legislation to their undue benefit the same as cell companies.With this new policy one are now compelled to make calls within a months time.In alliance,I calculate that there is a more sinister purpose,meaning and achievement surrounding RICA & FICA,taking into account that this control to "fight organised crime" appears to be fruitless and of no value iro corrupt officials and those in office with beneficial ties to known crime bosses.

  • letsee - 2011-08-14 16:22

    I knew that there are some clever dicks at Vodacom and they proved me right.

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