Help Center

South Africa SMS messaging regulations and restrictions

Clickatell is a member of the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) in South Africa and we’re bound by their code of conduct. WASPA was formed in 2004 as a self-regulatory body with a mandate to represent and regulate its voluntary members which provide mobile-based Value-Added Services (VAS), otherwise known as WASPs. For more information, you can view the WASPA code of conduct.

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

Before you start sending it to South Africa, please take note of the complex and important messaging and content restrictions outlined by these regulatory bodies.

We’ll make it simple for you to set up a South Africa messaging program. Our Online Sales team has a solid understanding of the country’s messaging landscape, which means they can easily guide you through the process of setting up your account.


Restriction Description
DND exists Yes
Time restrictions


  • Direct marketing messages may not be sent between 8 PM – 8 AM GMT+2
International vs local split No
Local traffic N/A
International traffic N/A
General content restrictions
  • Content that is offensive, immoral, violent, degrading, induces fear, incites the use of harmful substances, or promotes racism, is not allowed
  • Adult content is not allowed
  • It is best practice to obtain end-user consent before sending any communication from your service. Unsolicited messages will not be sent to end-users
Content registration required No
Opt-out instructions required Yes
  • End-users must be able to withdraw or cancel their consent at any time. You must be able to receive messages in order to process the “STOP” keyword required for users to opt out of your messaging
Sender ID regulations All sender IDs will be overwritten with a local number
Sender ID documentation required N/A
Country supports MNP Yes


Was this article helpful
0 out of 1 found this helpful

Other resources

Ask the community

Visit Stack Overflow to join our community of developers and find the answer you need.

Contact support

Contact our support team and one of our agents will be in touch with you to answer any questions you have.

Step into the future of business messaging.

SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments – do it all with Clickatell’s Chat Commerce platform.