Foreign SIM card for M2M or IOT Legal in SA if not RICA'ed?


Active Member
Oct 16, 2017
I just had a read-though of the RICA, now im a bit freaked out.

Im trying to develop IOT products and services in SA, however with Vodacom's data APN dropping my TCP/IP packets when they fell like it, (yes I did try the unrestricted APN).. I am now looking a Emnify and other global roaming data-only SIM's for my IOT connectivity.
BUT, what? RICA?
So yeah, it seems weird that section 40 says any person using a SIM in SA, basically needs to RICA, I cant see how that works with foreigners roaming here.
But worse than that, for us engineers:
Unlawful acts in respect of telecommunication and other equipment

54.(1) Any person who, intentionally and unlawfully, in any manner—

(a) modifies, tampers with, alters, reconfigures or interferes with, any telecommunication equipment, including a cellular phone and a SIM-card, or any part thereof;
(b) reverse engineers, decompiles, disassembles or interferes with, the software installed on any telecommunication equipment, including a cellular phone and a SIM-card, by the manufacturer thereof; or
(c) allows any other person to perform any of the acts referred to in paragraph (a) or (b),

is guilty of an offence.
So now I can by a SIM900

And what?, leave it switched off?


Expert Member
Feb 27, 2018
Considering you're in dev phase and it's not commercialized yet - surely you can ignore the silly points above?


If people were taken to task for modifying/tampering/altering SIMS a bunch of folks would be screwed after cutting their SIMS to fit their phones.


Honorary Master
Nov 1, 2010
When you purchase a SIM overseas, you are already "RICA'd" by the authority of that country. Bring it here, you don't need RICA again in South Africa.