Using the local Cell Network

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Using the local Cell Network

SIM Card Activation

  • Your local SIM card will be provided in your welcome pack, given to you upon arrival.
  • We have already completed the registration process (RICA) for the card in your name.
  • It’s crucial to activate the SIM card within the first 2-3 days after your arrival; failure to do so will result in the card being de-registered, requiring you to purchase and register a new one.

How It Works

  • In South Africa, you don’t need money to receive calls on the local network. The caller covers the full cost of the call.
  • Making calls typically costs about R1.20 per minute (approximately $0.10).
  • To make local calls on the network, you need airtime, and for using WhatsApp, email, and other apps when outside of WiFi range, you require mobile data.
  • Phones operate on a prepaid/pay-as-you-go system. You should monitor your airtime balance and top up as needed.

Airtime and Data

  • Airtime is necessary for making local calls on the network.
  • Many people use WhatsApp for calls, so your need for airtime is minimal as you’ll primarily rely on mobile data.
  • It’s advisable to maintain a small airtime balance on your phone in case of emergencies when you’re outside WiFi range or if you or the person you’re trying to contact has run out of mobile data.

Buying Airtime and Mobile Data

  • Airtime and mobile data can be purchased at grocery and convenience stores.
  • You can also buy airtime and data online by downloading the ‘My Vodacom’ app from the apple store or google play.

Dialing Codes

  • The South African country code is +27. For example, if you are provided with a South African number like 0827883344, you will dial it as: +27 827883344 (omit the initial zero and add +27).
  • To make an international call, dial 00 or +, followed by the country code and the number. The country code for the USA is 1, so when calling the United States, your dialed number will appear like this: +1 541 974 27.