A guide on how to find the best prepaid SIM cards in South Africa
- There are four main telco providers in South Africa: MTN, Vodacom, Telkom and Cell C. I highly recommend Vodacom and MTN, they have excellent coverage even outside major towns. In case you also plan to visit Swaziland and Lesotho get an MTN sim card, you can use it while in these 2 countries. Telkom has the cheapest data plans though.
SIM card offers
- Vodacom has two prepaid sim cards
- Regular sim cards
- B4IGO sim cards (tourist sim cards)
- Regular sim cards cost ZAR 5. B4IGO sim cards cost ZAR 100.
- Regular sim cards have the advantage of having cheap data and call plans starting from ZAR 5 for 20 MBs. Tourist sim cards data plans start at ZAR 200 for 1gb data.
- B4IGO sim cards can be bought online. Your sim card will be ready once you arrive, you can pick it up at the airport( at OR Tambo you can pick it up at the Vodacom shop in the public area of terminal A). Avoid B4IGO sim cards if you are a budget traveler. B4IGO sim cards are basically a ripoff.
- MTN has one of the cheapest call and data plans in South Africa. Their prepaid sim card (pay as you go) costs ZAR 5 though I bought mine for ZAR 1.50 on offer.
- Their data plans start at ZAR 1.50 for 10 MB data.
Where to purchase sim cards
- I'm not certain if all airports in South Africa have Vodacom shops but there's one at OR Tambo, the one I mentioned above.
- Woolworths store on the 2nd floor of terminal A also sells all sim cards.
- Most people buy sim cards from pick and pay stores, gas stations, supermarkets, and kiosks.
- You can also find Vodacom stores using their store locator
- Requirements for purchasing sim cards: your passport and address (address of your hotel, hostel or host).