n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - The hall of shame - double standards for spam : case note

Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-0099
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2185



The first decision of a South African court dealing with spam has revealed an industry practice as clear as dishwater. The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 ('the ECT Act'/'the Act') came into operation on 31 July 2002. The objects of the Act are among others to enable and facilitate electronic communications and transactions in the public interest and to develop a safe, secure and effective environment for consumers, business and government to conduct and use electronic transactions.

The term 'spam' refers to unsolicited communications that are sent bulk to electronic addresses. The issue of spam is dealt with in section 45 of the ECT Act, within the realm of consumer protection (chapter 8 of the ECT Act). The regulation of spam is also addressed in the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 ('the CPA') and, more recently, in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 ('POPI'). The spam provisions in the ECT Act, the CPA and POPI differ and industry regulation of spam adds its own distinctive features.

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