SPYL pleads with Govt to extend SIM card registration period

Ephraim Nekongo

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has requested the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to extend the SIM card registration period with 12 months.

In a letter SPYL secretary general Ephraim Nekongo sent information minister Peya Mushelenga last week, he said service providers are parastatals which greatly contribute to state revenue, and deactivating SIM cards would force them into insolvency.

“The initial registration period set by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) was 1 January to 31 December 2023, however, service providers like MTC have indicated thus far that only 25% of its clientele has been registered,” Nekongo said.

He said should the registration period not be extended for companies like MTC, they would lose 75% of their clients due to the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards.

“Against this background, we hereby request the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to direct Cran to extend the registration period for another 12 months,” he said.

“The two state-owned mobile telecommunication companies derive a significant sum of their profits from the selling of airtime and data bundles. If 75% of MTC’s SIM card holders are deactivated, it would plunge from a once profitable parastatal to an insolvent institution,” Nekongo said.

He said the deactivation of unregistered SIM cards would have a negative impact not only on the two state-owned companies, but also on the economy at large.

Nekongo called for MTC and Telecom Namibia to deploy their services to all 121 contituencies of the country to give those in remote areas the opportunity to register and eliminate long queues at registration points.

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