n South African Law Journal - The regulation of electronic signatures : time for review and amendment : notes

Volume 132, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 ('the ECT Act') was signed into law on 31 July 2002, and created a regulatory platform to enable electronic commerce and electronic communications in South Africa. The Internet has indelibly altered communication. There is no going back. Future generations will conduct themselves in an ever-increasing digital manner and the electronic signature is a critical component of conduct when an individual is required by a law (or by agreement) to sign a document or to agree to a transaction digitally. According to 'Internet world stats: Usage and population statistics' (available at http://www.internetworldstats.com/africa.htm#za, accessed on 3 June 2014), there are approximately 8 500 000 Internet users in South Africa, roughly 17.4 per cent of the population. The growth of the Internet is often described in exaggerated ways (Wenette Jacobs 'The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act: Consumer Protection and Contracts' (2004) 16 556), but this underlies the very real fact that the growth in usage is exponential and must be considered when formulating Internet-related legislation.

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