Cellular operators are awaiting word on whether conditions in the controversial law that requires them to register details of all cellular phone users will be finalised today – and they are hoping for a reprieve in complying to the end of the year.
The proposed legislation makes it necessary for cellular operators to register every cellular phone and its SIM card, whether contract or pre-paid, and provides for onerous penalties if they don't comply.
The Interception of Communication and Provision of Communication Related Information Amendment Bill is currently being discussed by the justice committee.
Among the penalties being discussed are massive fines if cellular service providers connect a user without registering their personal details or even revocation of the operators' licence.
The industry is grappling with the logistics of obtaining personal information from every user, especially in view of the large pre-paid market in South Africa.