Cabinet has approved a six-month extension of the deadline for the registration of mobile phone users because too few had complied so far, a government spokesman said on Thursday.
In terms of legislation, cellphone users had to register their sim cards by the end of December this year. However, the response has been slow and it was difficult for mobile phone operators to force their clients to comply.
Briefing the media on Thursday, following cabinet’s Wednesday meeting, Themba Maseko said the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act (Rica) would therefore be amended shortly to extend the deadline by six months.
TechCentral broke the news earlier this month that the department of justice has agreed 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 the government on how they planned to comply with the new deadline. — Sapa