South Africa’s new telephone and cellphone number codes

South Africa’s telecommunications networks have been assigned several additional number ranges in the past few years.

These most recently assigned dialling codes are mainly in the 06 range, where there were still a few number ranges available.

Phone numbers in South Africa are assigned to network operators according to the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (Icasa) National Numbering Plan Regulations.

Except for shortcodes and some machine-related numbers, like those used in point-of-sale (POS) devices and bulk SMS services, phone numbers in South Africa contain ten digits.

Numbers are divided into two main categories — geographic and non-geographic.

Fixed services, such as legacy telephone lines and voice over IP services, are allocated geographic numbers, with the first three digits starting between 010 and 058.

This generally indicates the geographic location of the phone line. However, number portability means this is no longer always the case.

Mobile and other non-geographic services use the number ranges from 060 to 098.

These numbers are assigned in blocks to specific operators or services.

Initially, it was easy to identify which mobile operator someone was on from the number they had.

Vodacom was 082, MTN was 083, and Cell C received 084 when it launched.

As their number ranges depleted, they received 072, 073, and 074, respectively.

When Telkom Mobile (then 8ta) launched in 2010, it received a portion of the 081 range.

However, things have become increasingly fragmented over the years as South Africa’s operators needed additional numbers.

The advent of number portability also means there is no guarantee that someone using a 082 number is still on the Vodacom network.

With the increased demand for numbers, Icasa recently proposed new rules for recycling inactive numbers.

Under its proposed regulations, a number will be deemed inactive if it hasn’t taken any revenue-generating action for 60 days.

Operators must then warn the subscriber that their number is about to be quarantined and recycled.

A number must be kept in quarantine for 30 calendar days, during which subscribers can reactivate it.

Icasa also wants to create a process for subscribers to pay operators to keep their number without performing any revenue-generating activity on it.

However, the exact details of this must still be hashed out, and the regulator is gathering feedback from stakeholders on its proposal.

The table below summarises South Africa’s current number range assignments.

Number Range Area or operator
00 International access code
01 — Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and part of the North West
010 New overlay plan for Johannesburg
011 Greater Johannesburg area
012 Tshwane metro and surrounds, including Brits
013 Bronkhorstspruit, Middelburg, Witbank and Nelspruit (Eastern Gauteng and Western and Northern Mpumalanga)
014 Rustenburg and Modimolle (Northern North West and Southwestern Limpopo)
015 Polokwane (Northern and Eastern Limpopo: Polokwane)
017 Ermelo (Southern Mpumalanga)
018 Mahikeng, Lichtenburg, Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp (Southern North West)
02 — Western and Northern Cape
021 Cape Town metro and surrounds, including Stellenbosch, Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay
022 Malmesbury (Boland and West Coast)
023 Worcester and greater Karoo, including Beaufort West
027 Vredendal, Calvinia, Clanwilliam, Springbok, Alexander Bay, Port Nolloth (Namaqualand, Northern Cape)
028 Swellendam and Caledon / Hermanus region (Southern Western Cape)
03 — KwaZulu-Natal
031 Durban metro area
032 Verulam, Tongaat, Ballito, and Stanger (KZN North coast region)
033 Pietermaritzburg and KwaZulu-Natal Midlands
034 Vryheid, Newcastle and Northern KZN
035 Zululand region, including St. Lucia, Richards Bay, Ulundi
036 Drakensberg region, including Ladysmith
039 KwaZulu-Natal South Coast region, including Port Shepstone and interior, and Eastern part of Eastern Cape
04 — Eastern Cape and Eastern parts of the Western Cape
040 Bhisho
041 Gqeberha and Uitenhage
042 Humansdorp (Southern region)
043 East London and surrounds
044 Garden Route, including Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Mossel Bay and George
045 Queenstown (Central region)
046 Grahamstown, Bathurst, Port Alfred, Kenton-on-Sea (Southern region)
047 Mthatha (most of the old Transkei)
048 Steynsburg (Northern region)
049 Graaff-Reinet (Western region)
05 — Free State and parts of the Northern Cape
051 Bloemfontein, and Aliwal North in the Eastern Cape (central and Southern region)
053 Kimberley, eastern part of Northern Cape, far west of NW province
054 Upington, Gordonia region
056 Kroonstad (Northern Free State)
057 Welkom (Northern Free State)
058 Bethlehem (Eastern Free State)
06 — Mobile (non-geographic)
0600 Cellular: Liquid
0601 – 0602 Telkom Mobile
0603 – 0605 MTN
0606 – 0609 Vodacom
0610 – 0613 Cell C
0614 Telkom Mobile
0615-0619 Cell C
062 Cell C
0630 – 0635 MTN
0636 – 0637 Vodacom
0638 – 0640 MTN
0641 – 0645 Cell C
0646 – 0649 Vodacom
0650 – 0654 Cell C
0654 Formerly Lycamobile
0655 – 0657 MTN
0658 – 0659 Telkom Mobile
066 Vodacom
0670 – 0672 Telkom Mobile
0673 – 0675 Vodacom
0676 – 0679 Telkom
0680 – 0685 Telkom
0686 – 0689 MTN
069 MTN
07 — Mobile (non-geographic)
0710 MTN
0711 – 0716 Vodacom
0717 – 0719 MTN
072 Vodacom
073 MTN
074 Cell C
0741 Formerly Virgin Mobile
075 Purple Mobile
076 Vodacom
078 MTN
079 Vodacom
08 — Mobile, toll-free, ShareCall, MaxiCall, premium-rated (non-geographic)
080 Toll-free, called party pays
0810 MTN
0811 – 0815 Telkom Mobile
0816 Rain
0817 Telkom Mobile
0818 Vodacom
0819 Telkom Mobile
082 Vodacom
083 MTN
084 Cell C
085 USAL licence holders
086 Sharecall, MaxiCall, and premium-rate services
0860 Sharecall – Landline callers pay local call, called party pays long distance if applicable
0861 MaxiCall – Caller always pay long distance for call even if routed to local office
0862 – 9 Premium rate – Caller pays increasing rate linked to last digit
08622 Competition lines
086294 Competition lines
08671 – 08674 Information services
087 Value-added services (including VoIP)
088 Pagers, Telkom CallAnswer voicemail, and Fax Divert
089 Maxinet, for polls and radio call-in services
09 — Premium-rated and machine-related services
090 Premium-rate services
0902 Premium-rate adult services
091 Premium-rate services
092 Premium-rate services
096 Machine-related services (Bulk SMS/MMS)
097 Machine-related services (Bulk SMS/MMS)
098 Machine-related services (Bulk SMS/MMS)

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South Africa’s new telephone and cellphone number codes