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South Africa SMS messaging regulations and restrictions

South African SMS messaging supports binary and Unicode, and there are various standard regulations in place regarding message content, which you can see in the table below. You can also visit the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa online for more information and guidance regarding these restrictions.

We’ll make it simple for you to set up a South Africa messaging program. Our sales advisors have a solid understanding of the country’s messaging landscape, which means they can easily guide you through the process of setting up your account. Email expertadvisors@clickatell.com to get started.

Restriction Description
Message content

The following type of content is not allowed:

  • constitutes offending material;
  • is morally repugnant; or
  • incites violence or desire to cause harm;
  • induces an unacceptable sense of fear or anxiety;
  • encourages or incites any person to engage in dangerous practices or to use harmful substances;
  • induces or promotes tribal or racial disharmony;
  • causes grave or widespread offence; or
  • debases, degrade or demeans.


Further content regulations to bear in mind:

  • Adult content is not allowed.
  • Dating and personal contact services are subject to various restrictions. Your sales advisor can provide more information.
  • Political content is subject to restrictions in terms of content and timing. Speak to your sales advisor for more information.
  • As per the Consumer Protection Act, direct marketing messages (across all channels) may not be sent between 20hoo and 08h00 (GMT+2).


Terms and conditions for Vodacom (carrier):

The transmission of unsolicited value-added services (VAS) is not permitted unless:

  • You have the express consent of the end user, or
  • You have a recent prior commercial relationship (of no older than six months) with the end user and appropriate mechanisms exist for end users to withdraw or cancel their consent at any time, i.e.: You must be able to receive messages in order to process ‘STOP’ requests sent by end users.

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