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Disconnected by RICA? How to get your number back

Vodacom and Cell C have assured customers who missed the RICA 30 June registration deadline that they can still be reactivated. Up to 2-million numbers are affected by the cut-offs across all networks.

Up to two-million cellphone numbers were deactivated at midnight on 30 June when their users failed to register them under the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (RICA). Almost a million of these were Vodacom numbers.

“With just under a million SIMs locked on the Vodacom network after last night’s 12pm RICA deadline, getting reconnected is still possible,”” the company said in a statement. “”All cut-off customers need to do is register at any Vodacom approved outlet or RICA station.””

‚We have over 170 000 Rica agents across South Africa who are available to assist cut-off customers. The only thing to note is that reactivation can take around 24 hours so there may be some inconvenience,‚ said Portia Maurice, Vodacom’s Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs. Contract customers who haven’t registered will still remain liable to pay their contract, even if the SIM is locked.

Customers are reminded that in order to register they will need to take their SIM(s) along with their green coded ID book and a recent proof of address to a Vodacom RICA agent. Call centre agents will not be able to register customers over the phone as the law requires the documents to be checked in person. However, to check on registration status customers can call the Vodacom customer care line on 082 111 from a landline and insert their cell number.

‚If customers find they are registered but are still experiencing problems they can speak to a call centre agent who will be able to assist,‚ said Maurice.

To assist cut-off customers Vodacom will continue to keep registration centres in schools, townships and taxi ranks open until 4 July. The centres in the taxi ranks and townships are open from 10 am ‚ 8 pm.

After 4 July customers will be able to register at any Vodacom approved outlet. If pre-paid customers have not registered after six months their SIM(s) will be permanently disconnected and their number will be recycled into the system, as is common practice in the industry.

For all the information on the RICA documentation and process and outlets you can visit:

Cell C

Cell C has announced that close to 97% of its customer base took the time to RICA before yesterday’s deadline. This leaves about 220 000 of their customers outside the RICA net.

“”We want to thank our customers for their tremendous response to our call to RICA their SIMs. We are pleased that we can continue to provide them with uninterrupted services on Cell C’s “”deep | wide| strong”” H+900 network,‚ said Cell C CEO Lars P. Reichelt.

“”We would also like to thank all those internal and external teams in stores, customer care, call centers, RICA points, IT and network that worked flat out yesterday and deep into the night to capture the last-minute registrations,‚ he says.

Reichelt says about 0.01% of contract customers and 3% of prepaid customers did not register their SIM cards by the deadline.

To reactivate their lines, customers must present their green barcoded identity book (or passport) and proof of physical address ‚ such as a bank statement, retail or water and lights account ‚ at their nearest Cell C store or anywhere they see a RICA sign board. More than 60 000 RICA terminals are in operation across the country for Cell C.

Customers have a grace period of 120 days from the deadline date to reactivate their cut-off lines or face the possibility of losing their numbers.

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