MTN Corporate Affairs Manager Mandla Luphondvo


By the time you read this article, you will only be left with a mere 10 days before your SIM Card is disconnected from the MTN Eswatini network. The deadline for registration of SIM Cards on the Vela campaign is the 4th of April
2019. This deadline was announced by the Eswatini Communications Commission. The directive to register mobile
subscribers SIM cards on all mobile networks is a requirement of the SIM Registration Regulation of 2016. This initiative was launched by the then Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Eswatini, Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini. According to the latest reports, MTN Eswatini has registered about 900, 000 subscribers, and is looking forward to registering 100, 000 more, which would cover its million SIM cards. MTN allows each subscriber to register up to ten SIM cards, including those of children below the age of 18 years, who may not individually register theirs.
From March 25, MTN Eswatini has started registering its post-paid or contract customers, who will need to send additional details to complete the registration process. To get more people to register their SIM cards, MTN has contracted slightly over a thousand young people known as foot soldiers. Their primary role is to readily avail the SIM registration service by walking from door-to-door, enabling subscribers to register without the hassle of having to board a bus to the nearest registration point. Additionally, MTN Eswatini has trained all its staff members to accelerate the process of SIM registration. They are equipped with the Application (App) which is used in registration. This means MTN staff can readily register customers’ SIM Cards as long as they have the relevant
documents, namely: national identity document and proof of residence. Proof of residence may be a utility bill – like water, electricity for instance, or letter from local authorities such as Umphakatsi or Inkhundla or Town Council rates bill. According to MTN Corporate Affairs Manager Mandla Luphondvo, the commercial, Finance, Networks
and Information Technology departments within MTN have been to Siteki, Mbabane and Manzini respectively, to register customers’ SIM cards. “So far, the interest from our valued customers is encouraging,” said Luphondvo. Additionally, MTN Eswatini has a dedicated Call Centre and back-office team to support this exercise alongside the setting up of a Toll-free line, 923, for customers to call in for assistance or clarification pertaining to SIM Registration. To check if your SIM card is registered you can dial *1212#.

What customers had to say OnTime News Network engaged some customers to establish their views on the SIM registration exercise as it winds to a close.

Sicelo Mkhwanazi has not yet registered his SIM Card. He says he was too busy to register his number as he is always at work. ”I am hoping to find time to register at a nearby MTN Vela Sim Registration
Centre,” he said. Asked his view on the importance of this program, Mkhwanazi said he believed that the program aligned well with vision 2022 of Eswatini to attain first world status by 2022.

Mpendulo Shabangu says he will register his number before month end. “I am delayed by the availability of my proof of residence. And, I am optimistic that I will register my SIM card as soon as I get proof
of residence,” he said. Shabangu further encouraged those who have not yet registered to do so before the deadline.

On the other hand Sandile Dube had to make a plan seeing that he didn’t have proof of residence. “Because I was afraid to lose my number, I used a friend’s details for proof residence,” he said. Dube said he
suspected though that what he did would affect him as time goes by.

Philile Gulwako said; “I registered my number, but I have been getting SMSes that I am not registered,” she said. Asked as to what she thought the problem was, Gulwako said she had no idea, arguing that she submitted all her details, including the proof of residence.” I am puzzled, but will find time to register my number before the closing date.”

Luphondvo conceded that there were concerns on some of the SIM cards that were initially confirmed as registered, but now show partial registration. He said this was because of a verification exercise, which in other telecommunications markets was conducted after the registration closure. “However, we have decided to be proactive, and verify the process even before the deadline.” he said. Luphondvo assured that MTN would avail an email to which subscribers can send missing documents, so that they don’t have to physically go back to an MTN outlet or agent.

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