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 SAPS USSD frequently asked questions

I can only type numeric characters on my responses. Why is that?

Certain smartphones such as Huawei only show a numeric keyboard when interacting with the USSD. This does not allow normal text to be input. A way around this is to download another keyboard such as "Gboard", "Swiftkey" or "Flesky"

Am I really anonymous when sending a tip-off?

Choosing to remain anonymous does not share your number nor name with the SAPS system

If I choose anonymous, how will I receive a reference number?

Choosing to remain anonymous you will additionally not receive an SMS when completing the USSD session. The reference number will instead be displayed on the USSD menu itself so please write it down.

If you choose NOT to be anonymous then an SMS is sent to you for your convenience with a reference number when the USSD session is complete.

Can I use the USSD when I do not have signal from my provider?

USSD uses the voice layer of the network which means if you do not have voice signal then the USSD session will not work.

My USSD submission time-out, why is that?

USSD has strict timeouts:

  • The total amount you are allowed in one session is 3 – 4 minutes (Depending on your mobile network).
  • You are allowed 30 – 60 seconds (Depending on your mobile network) to answer and submit each question.
  • If a timeout occurs you can simply dial in again and start from where you left off. 

I do not want to use my data.

The USSD service is reverse billed which means the end user does not pay.

Can I send an update on the tip off?

Yes, you can select "Update a tip-off", you will be prompted to enter the tip-off number you previously logged. Once you entered the tip-off number, you can send an update. 

Will I always receive a tip-off reference number?

 Yes you will.

  • If you select anonymous tip-off you will receive a reference number on the screen.
  • If your details are known, your will receive the reference number via an SMS.