Gauteng Province is home to about nine and a half million people according to the last census done in South Africa. This means that about one fifth of the population of South Africa resides in Gauteng. Oddly enough it is the smallest province.
Another huge number is the amount of SIM cards that South African mobile operators are going to have to turn off at the end of the month. About twelve million; give or take a few.
In theory, Gauteng could a be a cell free zone. Just imagine that.
This is to comply with the Regulation of Interception of Communication Act (Rica).
No more deadlines.
Last year November (2010) an extension of six months was approved for operators to register customer details, but now that extension has run out.
Originally the deadline was December of 2010, but due to the fact that it would be difficult to comply within the original time frame, an extension was granted.
Currently the population of South Africa is about fifty million. One of the three service providers reports a customer base of about twenty seven million with the second being about the same and the third about seven million customers. That is about sixty million cellular users in South Africa. There is a fourth player in the market, but they traditionally piggyback off one of the big three thus nullifying their numbers.
A total of about eighty percent all cellular users have been registered for RICA. This leaves twenty percent soon to be silenced.
Twelve million less ringing cell phones. Gauteng and more. Imagine that.