Promotional SMS Competitions

“promotional competition” means any competition, game, scheme, arrangement, system, plan or device for distributing prizes as defined in section 36 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2009.

 Cost of entry
The cost for a single entry into a promotional competition must not exceed R1.50.
All valid and correct entries must have the same chance of winning.

Ignorance is no excuse of the law
Companies making use of Short Codes exceeding R1.50 per SMS for any competition or service as described below definition above, could be held liable for their service being terminated and or a fine imposed from WASPA
It remains the responsibility of the company or business to run competitions and or campaigns, where revenue share is applicable, within the rules and regulations of WASPA
Short Code Service Providers cannot be held responsible for misusing or incorrect usage of Short Codes provided to it's clients


An offer to participate in a promotional competition must clearly state:
the competition to which the offer relates;
the steps required by a person to participate in the competition;
the full cost to enter the competition;
the basis on which the results of the competition will be determined;
the closing date for the competition;
how the results of the competition will be made known;
how a person can obtain a copy of the competition rules; and
how the successful participant can obtain the prize

The requirement to provide the above information may be satisfied either by including the information in the advertisement for the competition, or by presenting it before the participant enters the competition.
(Example: An SMS advertising a competition could direct a participant to a web page where the above information is provided as part of the process of participating in the competition.)

Closing date
Competition services must have a specific closing date, except where there are instant prize- winners.
An insufficient number of entries or entries of inadequate quality are not acceptable reasons for changing the closing date of a competition or withholding prizes.
Any customer entering the competition must be sent a reply indicating that entry into the competition was received and recorded
Once the closing date for a competition is reached, the advertised prizes must be awarded, if there are any valid entries.
Prizes must be awarded within 28 days of the closing date, unless a longer period is clearly stated in the competition rules.
For thirty days after a competition closing date, any customer entering the competition must be sent a reply indicating that the competition has already closed.

Prohibited practices

Promotional competitions must not:
use words such as “win” or “prize” to describe items intended to be offered to all or a substantial majority of the participants;
exaggerate the chance of winning a prize;
suggest that winning a prize is a certainty;
suggest that the party has already won a prize and that by contacting the promoter of the competition, that the entrant will have definitely secured that prize.