The GNUS’s New Minister of Communications – Technology

Meet the New Communications Minister: Solly Malatsi 

South African politics has entered a new era with 12 cabinet posts coming from the opposition. Among these new arrivals is Solly Malatsi, a dynamic young Communications Minister who has his work cut out for him.

Malatsi will be tasked with working through a significant backlog in the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies (DCDT), which has seen more than 10 ministers since 1994.

Analysts in the tech industry believe Malatsi has the potential to bring some stability and efficiency to an ever-changing sector that has been struggling to balance politics with industry needs. Here are some of the top items on his agenda as he sets out to transform the country’s ICT sector.

Three main priorities for Malatsi’s first 100 days 

There’s an old saying that the first 100 days is the most crucial in politics. 

Malatsi will find himself facing a veritable mountain of tasks. The three biggest challenges for the minister of communications will be:

  1. Digital transformation. Finally making the change from analog to digital broadcasting as streaming and on demand entertainment become the norm.
  2. Fixing the SA post office. Despite billions of Rand in bailout, the SAPO is still far from functional and must be rescued or finally privatised.
  3. ICT policy. The past 20 years has seen a total transformation in the technology and communication field. Government policy will need to be brought up to speed to address the needs of our 21st century economy.

Malatsi has a strong background in policy and oversight, having served as a shadow minister and a member of Parliament since 2014.  The 38-year-old is also the DA’s Deputy Federal Chairperson. 

He will need to act decisively to bring about reform in his department, which may be doubly difficult because former Minister Mondli Gungubele will stay on as his deputy.

Will the tech sector benefit from a new approach to regulation? 

Ultimately, whatever happens to the Post Office and television broadcast system, Malatsi’s true legacy will be determined by the policy initiatives he spearheads to move the country in line with international best practices.

A young, intelligent minister with an ambitious plan could dramatically transform the tech and communications landscape in the country. We look forward to seeing Malatsi create a legacy for South Africa as a premier ICT hub as the country battles to overcome increasing cybersecurity threats. 

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 SA’s new Cybercrimes act | Cyber Threat

Navigate the cyber threat landscape with SA’s new Cybercrimes Act

A rising wave of cybercrimes has prompted the government to pass sweeping new legislation that’s designed to protect individuals and businesses from the illegal acts of cybercriminals.

SA’s Cybercrimes Act, which was recently passed by parliament, gives law enforcement authorities greater powers to investigate online crimes and punish those responsible for them.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from this new law and find out how you can stay compliant while protecting yourself and your business from cybercriminals.

SA’s new cybercrimes act explained

The overall intention of the new Act is to define what digital crimes are, make them illegal in law, and give the authorities the power to prosecute cybercriminals.

In terms of the Act, the following actions are now illegal in South Africa:

  • Cyber fraud
  • Cyber forgery and uttering
  • Cyber extortion
  • The theft of incorporate property including patents
  • and other aggravated offences
  • Unlawful access to computer networks
  • Unlawful interceptions of data including acquisition, capturing and copying
  • Unlawful acts in respect of software and hardware tools
  • Unlawful interferences with data or a computer program

Looking at the list above, it’s clear that any actions that are carried out online with the intention of defrauding a person or business, obtaining data illegally, or using unlicensed software are now totally illegal in South Africa.

The new law also extends to online behaviour, with a special focus on messages sent electronically to other users.

be careful what you type – the law is watching

We’ve all been annoyed or maybe even upset by abusive social media messages and other types of electronic communication, but from now on perpetrating online abuse could land individuals and businesses in legal trouble.

The Cybercrimes Act make the following punishable by law:

  • Electronic messages that incite damage to property or violence
  • Data messages that threaten persons with damage to property or violence
  • Messages containing  X-rated images

Jealous ex-partners posting revenge pics, political leaders distributing the contact details of rivals and  journalists they dislike, and angry citizens encouraging others to carry out crimes like looting could all face the wrath of the law in terms of the Act.

avoid legal trouble with a strict communications policy

The days when ordinary citizens, businesses, and political figures could tweet or post what they liked without fear of prosecution are officially over. Anyone convicted of contravening the Cybercrimes Act could face a fine and / or a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

A company communication policy that emphasises politeness, diplomacy, and avoiding the dissemination of sensitive information is essential for every business, and individuals should follow the same guidelines when they interact on social media.

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