I work for a South African Construction Company as a SysAdmin and I have to say I was not surprised when I saw this. It is quite stupid when you consider that it is very simple and cost effective to arrange a private APN with the Cell Companies and link SIM cards to it so those sims act like VPN connections, only being able to connect to your network. We do it for about 200 people so how they didn't do something similar and used stock SIM cards I really do not know.
Actually I do. There are a range of factors in South Africa that leads to stupid mistakes like this. Firstly there are the power failures. Poorly maintained infrastructure, poor capacity planning, the power is bound to go down even without the summer rain storms.
Then you have the fact that Government will only give contracts to Companies with insanely high Black Economic Empowerment levels. You get different levels but to obtain the highest ones you basically have to be an all black company and by from all black suppliers. The problem is, and I know this from job hunting as well as recruiting, that there is a massive skills shortage in South Africa. It is very hard to find a capable IT Professional of any race, and 10 times as hard to find a black one to keep your HR department happy on their quotas. So what happens? You HAVE to employ a black person, but there isn't one with the skills you need so you employ the brightest looking one and train them yourself.
But when you have an entire company filled with these types of recruitments there isn't anyone to train the rest. So you have a High Level BEE company that can tender for Government work but who do not really have a clue as to what they are doing. Add to this some bad apples that will leak this info to some shady friends and you have a situation like this.
Strangely, I do not think this is not a JRA inside job. They just bought the system. This had to have been an inside job from the IT company that designed the system and knew the SIMs could be used for normal phone calls. Then again, that info could have been slipped to the JRA and the leaked out there.
All and all this is what happens when you have a skills shortage in a country and then still try to force companies to employ only certain races regardless if they have the skills or not.