Vodacom to deregister one million inactive SIM cards

Vodacom announced it is deregistering approximately one
million inactive SIM cards as part of a series of steps to help improve the
effectiveness of the RICA Act.  

On 1st July 2011, the requirement for the de-activation
of all unregistered SIM cards as per the Regulation of Interception of
Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act, 2002
(‘RICA’) became effective. 

Following the cut-off date, at a joint press briefing
between the Department of Justice & Constitutional Development (DoJ) and
the Department of Communications (DoC), the issue of the sale of fraudulently
preregistered SIMs was addressed.

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. 

Supporting this measure, Vodacom has also implemented a
process whereby all SIMs registered but not activated within 30 days will automatically
be deregistered. The company is also checking all instances where numerous SIM
cards were registered in the name of a single customer.

In the case of company registrations, Vodacom will verify
the details of these companies with the Companies and Intellectual Property
Commission.  All new registrations undertaken in a company name will also
be checked in the same way.

In addition to this, Vodacom is embarking on an education
campaign to remind customers that all SIMs must be registered in the user’s
name.  Furthermore, Vodacom will reiterate that the RICA Act imposes
severe penalties on anyone who fails to register their details or provides
fraudulent information.

The potential penalties include a fine or imprisonment,
or both.  Customers will also be reminded of their legal obligation to
report lost or stolen SIM cards to the police.

“Vodacom fully supports the goal of reducing crime
and we’re pleased to work with the Department of Justice to ensure that not
only the letter but also the spirit of RICA is being implemented.  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, chief officer corporate affairs, Vodacom.

Customers can report RICA fraud such as the sale of
preregistered SIM cards by calling 082 111. The information will be handed
to Vodacom’s forensic department who will investigate and take the appropriate
action. Customers can alternatively report such incidents to the police.

By Telecomlead.com Team
[email protected]