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|za| South Africa +27

Number Format

Area Code:            2-5 digits
Subscriber Number:    3-7 digits
Trunk Prefix:         0
International Prefix: 00 (formerly 09)
Sum of Area Code and Subscriber Number will be 9 digits (exclusive of trunk prefix).

Area code information

Numbering portability

Pekka Pihlajasaari reports: "Both mobile and fixed-line (geographic) telephone numbers may be ported between network operators with comparable facilities. An audible signal is provided when calling a ported number to alert the caller that alternative charging may be in effect."

Regulator ICASA has published various Number Portability Regulations and associated reports.

2010 - Draft numbering plan regulations

ICASA released draft numbering plan regulations> in June 2010, and issued an earlier 2006 numbering plan.

See: ICASA Numbering Plan documents

Other mobile numbering developments up to 2010 include:

Number range  Carrier/allocation
============  ==================
+27 76        reserved - carrier unknown
+27 79        reserved - carrier unknown
+27 81        Telkom 8ta (pronounced Heita) mobile
+27 84        Cell C
+27 87        reserved - carrier unknown
Nextel (new fixed/wireline operator) used Telkom numbering ranges. Mobile number portability is in effect, therefore numbers may not necessarily indicate the current carrier belonging to a wireless number.

(additional info courtesy Pekka Pihlajasaari)

16 October 2006 - Telkom international prefix changes from 09+ to 00+

Carrier Telkom introduced 00+ for international calling as of 16 October 2006, with parallel use of the previous 09+ international prefix until 16 January 2007 at which point 00+ became mandatory.

Source: Telkom implements changes in dialling procedures (Telkom press release, 29 September 2006)

(News item courtesy Risto O. Nykänen)

2008: Johannesburg - new +27 10 code overlays +27 11

A new +27 10 code was introduced in the Greater Johannesburg area, to supplement the existing +27 11. No changes to existing numbers under +27 11 were required.

Source: "Telkom implements 010 area code in Johannesburg", Mail & Guardian 29 April 2008

Telkom news releases of November 2001 previously indicated the original intention to introduce this overlay code.

June 2004 - draft numbering plan

Regulator ICASA issued another draft revised numbering plan on 14 June 2004:

South Africa Government Gazette 26471 - Notice of intention to make regulations on the numbering plans

Also, ITWEB article of 21 June 2004 Draft numbering plan looks to the future

Closed 10-digit dialling and number portability were presumably postponed.

Other articles from 2002 on 10-digit dialling proposals:

ITWEB article of 29 September 2003: 10-digit dialling may remain on backburner

ITWEB article of 9 October 2002, Telkom refutes 10-digit dialling rumours - where Telkom refuted rumours that there would be extra charges to callers not using 10-digit local dialling.

8 May 2002 - '00' introduced as international prefix

Use of '00' as international prefix began in May 2002. The existing '09' prefix was to operate permissively for at least a year thereafter. However, carrier Telkom only began its conversion in October 2006 (see above). Voice announcement intercept on '09' was to be in effect for at least 6 months after the '09' permissive period ended.

Reference: ICASA document (via ITU).

6 November 2001: 10-digit local dialling allowed

South Africa telephone customers may now dial the area code for local calls, as well as long distance. All conventional calls to fixed or wireless numbers can be completed with 10 digits, including the leading trunk prefix digit '0'.

Regulator ICASA intended that 10-digit dialling would be mandatory for local as well as long distance calls. However, the mandatory phase was not implemented.

Permissive operation of either 7-digit or 10-digit local calling began on 6 November 2001.

Mandatory dialling of 10-digit format for all calls would have taken effect 8 May 2002 under the original plan.

However, ICASA announced 4 April 2002 that the parallel operation of 10-digit dialing would continue until six months after "promulgation of the numbering plan regulations". Source: News 24: "Icasa extends dialling phase-in"

2001? - new mobile area codes

New area codes were assigned at an unknown date (possibly late-2001 or early-2002):

Vodacom added +27 72 to its existing +27 82.

MTN added +27 73 to its existing +27 83.

+27 7 and +28 8 ranges are intended for mobile numbers under proposed future national numbering plans.

Source: ICASA announcement (archive of 7 May 2005)

1 July 2001 - regulator ICASA replaces SATRA, IBA

As of 1 July 2001, the telecom regulator in South Africa is Independent Communications Authority Of South Africa (ICASA). It replaced SATRA, the former telecom regulator, and IBA, the former broadcast regulator.

8 June 2001 - draft numbering plan

A draft numbering plan for South Africa was released by regulator ICASA.

Source: ICASA Notice 1424 of 2001 One element was the introduction of a closed numbering plan where 10-digit dialling would be mandatory for all geographic numbers by 08 May 2002. Initial digits 2 through 9 would have been removed from the numbering plan for future assignment.

Also, an area code overlay in Gauteng Central Area (Johannesburg) was proposed, +27 10 added to the +27 11 region.

March 2001 - South Region, East London changes

Some numbering changes occurred in South Region, East London, as reported by Telkom in March 2001.

March 1999 - Plett - +27 4457 changes to +27 44 (53)

Plett numbers changed to +27 44 plus 7-digit subscriber numbers. Formerly this was +27 4457 plus 5-digit subscriber numbers. '53' was prepended to the subscriber number when the area code change took effect.

Source: South Africa Cape and Garden Route (as of February 1999).

1 July 1997 - adoption of existing numbering plan

Regulator SATRA (forerunner of ICASA) issued Ruling FR-0002 to adopt the existing numbering plan, effective 1 July 1997.

Reference: Government Gazette Number 18220, 22 August 1997, General Notice 1228 of 1997.

13 November 1995 - Bloemfontein 7-digit subscriber number standard

Many Bloemfontein (+27 51) subscriber numbers were changed so that all numbers became 7 digits.

Old numbers --> New Numbers conversion:

21xxxx --> 421xxxx    221xxx --> 5221xxx    24xxxx --> 424xxxx
30xxxx --> 430xxxx    32xxxx --> 432xxxx    35xxxx --> 435xxxx
36xxxx --> 436xxxx    41xxxx --> 441xxxx    45xxxx --> 525xxxx
47xxxx --> 447xxxx    48xxxx --> 448xxxx    49xxxx --> 529xxxx
61xxxx --> 526xxxx    62xxxx --> 526xxxx
Dialling codes to individual centres were also phased out, in favour of codes covering larger regions.

Source: ANC news bulletin (search for title: MANY BLOEMFONTEIN TELEPHONE NUMBERS TO CHANGE).

October 1994 (?) - Winburg changes

Winburg subscribers changed area code to +27 51 (051 domestically), plus 7-digit subscriber numbers of the form 8110xxx. Rural lines were still served from a manual exchange through +27 5242.

Source: ANC bulletin (search for title: ELECTRONIC TELEPHONE EXCHANGE FOR WINBURG).

Other information

Major carrier is Telkom.

Government ministry responsible for telecommunications is Department of Communications.

Telecommunications regulator is ICASA.

Also, many corrections and news tips were courtesy Sergiu Rosenweig.

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