Court Rules MTN must allow Customers to keep their numbers when Porting


The cellphone industry in South Africa has undergone a number of changes in recent years. 2006 saw the introduction of the ability to port numbers from one mobile operator to another, with the ability to keep your number.  

MTN had a policy that blocked customers from keeping their mobile numbers if they didn’t apply for a transfer within a certain time-frame.

This particular policy was challenged by rival company Cell C and the Johannesburg High Court ruled in its favour in September 2016.

Graham de Vries head of corporate services at MTN said: 

“MTN takes note of the judgement and can confirm that we will comply with the contents.”

More about number porting and your rights as a consumer:

Number porting give you the power to switch your current cellphone network or service provider to a network of your choosing but still keep your existing cellphone number. So if you are an MTN customer and you want to port to Cell C, all you have to do is contact MTN and notify them of your intention to port. MTN now has to, by law, allow you to keep your number. This saves you the hassle of having to change your contact details with creditors, banks, employers etc.

It’s a free service that has been available in South Africa since 2006, giving South Africans the ability to choose between any cellphone operator that they want.

There are no hassles in most cases.

Usually the whole process takes 3 working days to complete, as long as you have complied with all FICA requirements.

Your new network will provide you with a new SIM card onto which your old cellphone number will be ported onto. You can then use your number on your new cellphone network provider.


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