How To Activate Vodacom SIM Card

This guideline is aimed at empowering you on how to activate a Vodacom SIM card. After you have rica’d or registered a new Vodacom starter pack SIM card, before it can start working, it is important and mandatory you get it activated.

This 5 minute tutorial gives you a well detailed step by step ways to get your newly registered Vodacom South Africa SIM card working.

Precisely, I will be discussing how you can activate your Vodacom SIM card in 3 ways if you have:

  • Just obtained or bought a new starter pack SIM card that is registered in your name or not in your name
  • Just did SIM swap for your Vodacom line ( i.e. you just recovered your lost or stolen number)
  • Just ported from another network to Vodacom ( e.g. MTN to Vodacom, Telkom To Vodacom or Cell C to Vodacom).

This tutorial is well detailed and I will like you to be patient as I explain all the steps you need to take 1 by 1.

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3 Reasons To Activate Your Vodacom SIM Card

When dissecting and analyzing the best network in South Africa, it is not a coincidence to emphatically say that Vodacom is the best.

Many reasons abound for this fact such as the Vodacom private number to hide your caller ID when calling, retrieve your lost number, the ease to implement vodacom contract cancellation online, the various list of vodacom ussd codes that is easy to remember and dial, unsubscribing from unwanted subscriptions, loading airtime and the popular please call me vodacom code.

However, in the context of our discussion here, the following are the three (3) reasons why activating your Vodacom SIM is important.

  1. Without an activated line, you are unable to make calls, receive calls and even connect to the internet via data purchase or data transfer.
  2. If you are someone whose bank account and SASSA grant is linked to your mobile number, you will not be able to get your money or grants because the PIN to access it will be sent to the number
  3. Virtually the economy of South Africa is tied to Eskom and your mobile number, so if either is lost or not working properly, there is bound to be a problem. Your Vodacom number is like an office or treasure you must protect, hence the need to activate your number to enjoy the many benefits that Vodacom offers.

How To Activate Vodacom SIM Card

The following are steps in activating your number or SIM:

1. Activating A Vodacom SIM Card That Is Newly Ricad

When you go to a Vodacom shop or you meet a RICA agent, after presenting your documents to either purchase a new line or number, the SIM card will then be registered.

Now, this is just the beginning and not the end, the SIM card after registration will not work because it is not yet activated.

Implement the steps below to activate your new Vodacom SIM card that is newly registered:

  • Open the starter pack from its plastic
  • Remove the SIM card inside it
  • Open your phone and insert it inside
  • Wait for 5 minutes and some welcome messages will pop in
  • If nothing happens in 5 minutes, switch off your phone and restart it
  • After you have restarted it, welcome messages will filter in
  • Once the messages have come, including some subscription messages, load airtime by buying about R5 recharge voucher.
  • After, dial *111*501# to check your number; once the number shows, it means your SIM card is fully activated.

2. Activating A Vodacom SIM Card You SIM Swapped

To do SIM swap on Vodacom means you once lost your number and you have been able to retrieve and get it back. Now, if this is your case, the method to activate it is different from point 1 above.

To activate a Vodacom SIM that you just SIM Swapped or retrieve, do the following:

  • Remember that for SIM Swap, the SIM card should be ricad i.e. registered in your name and immediately inserted right into the phone and it is from here you call Vodacom for SIM swap.
  • After calling and the SIM swap operation is successful i.e. your lost number will be restored to the starter pack SIM card inside the phone that you just used to call them
  • Once you are told it is successful, remove the Vodacom SIM card and put it somewhere safe
  • After 6 hours, put it back inside the phone, wait till you start getting activation messages and subscription alert notifications
  • After, dial 100, listen to the prompt ( the prompt will tell you to press 1 to check your balance); once you do this, you will be able to check your balance.
  • Get a recharge card and load airtime on the phone and after successful recharge, dial *111*501# to check your number
  • If your number shows, it means your Vodacom SIM is now activated. If it says fail or number is not on the system, do not worry, remove the battery of the phone and put it back. Then restart your phone. If you cannot remove the battery, just restart your phone and your Vodacom number will be activated after the phone restarts.

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3. Activating A Vodacom SIM Card You Port From Other Networks

I published a comprehensive guideline on how to port from MTN, Cell C and Telkom to Vodacom; please understand that to port means to change your network but still using the same number.

E.g. if my Telkom number is 0628310319 and I port to Vodacom, it means my number, 0628310319 remains the same but is now a Vodacom number. This means I will be buying Vodacom airtime and data and no longer Telkom.

Now, if you happen to be in such a situation that you probably port from MTN, Cell C or Telkom to Vodacom, the steps below is how you need to activate that Vodacom SIM so that it can be working on the Vodacom infrastructure.

  • After you have port to Vodacom, keep that Vodacom SIM card safe somewhere till the network on the other SIM you are porting from ( e.g. MTN, Cell C or Telkom) is lost and gone. In such case, it means the porting is successful and that number is now transferred to Vodacom.
  • After this, insert the Vodacom SIM into a phone, wait for about 10 minutes and messages will start filtering in.
  • Dial 100, listen to the voice prompt; the prompt contains instructions to activate your SIM. In most cases, you will be told to press 1 to check your balance. Just listen to the voice prompt.
  • After this, buy airtime and recharge your Vodacom SIM card, then dial the code to check the balance. Once the balance shows up, it means it is now activated.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are important questions you need to know and the corresponding answers.

  • How Long Does Vodacom SIM Take To Be Activated

The official time is 24 hours; however from experience based on the three methods above, it is mostly:

  1. Less than 30 minutes if you are activating a new Vodacom SIM card that is just rica’d or registered in your name
  2. Between 6-12 hours for a Vodacom SIM card to be active if you just SIM swapped ( based on point 2 above).
  3. Between 6-12 hours if you port from another network to Vodacom ( e.g. MTN, Cell C or Telkom to Vodacom).

The second question;

  • Do I have To RICA My Vodacom SIM

Yes, it is compulsory for the SIM to be registered i.e. rica.

It is clearly a matter of Law and also without it being rica, the SIM card will never work because it means it is not on the Vodacom network

  • The Vodacom SIM Card Activation Failed

There are two technical reasons why the activation may fail;

  1. It is not properly registered i.e. rica ( this is common with free SIM cards hawked around on the street)
  2. Restart your phone, sometimes some phones are sensitive, they will not recognise any SIM you put inside it unless you restart. For most small phones, remove the battery, put it back and restart the phone. For most smartphones, just restart the phone straightaway and you will see that it is working.
  • Can I Activate Online

No, you cannot activate Vodacom SIM card online; kindly follow the instructions and guidelines stated above.

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