Two SIM cards were bought for R20 each at different vendors in Long Street without any hassle. The cards were pre-registered with the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (Rica) and are still widely available.
Communications regulatory adviser, Dominic Cull, said the enforcement of the Rica by-law had always been an issue as pre-Rica’d cards had been readily available for many years.
“The name ‘pre-Rica’ says it all. Rica was never going to work 100% all the time and the informal trade is difficult to police and enforce, which makes it easy for crime to be committed. Pre-Rica’d SIMs impact the SAPS’s ability to investigate crime. SAPS can get an interception direction from a judge to monitor your calls. The department of justice is looking at reviewing Rica. I expect to see the report sometime this year,” said Cull.
Vodacom spokesperson, Edlin Naidoo said Vodacom was aware of vendors selling pre-Rica’d SIM cards and to counter that, the network deactivates Rica SIM cards that are inactive for a period of time, forcing customers to rica again.