Electronic Communication

The Electronic Communications Act 20051 is different from ECTA, which governs transactions in e-commerce, hacking, cybercrime, and so on. This Act addresses certain aspects of broadcasting and telecommunications, and the convergence that is increasingly taking place in the electronic world of digital communications networks.

The Act is administered by the Minister of Communications.

A basic premise for management of all the available space, for the various operators in these industries, is that a licence must be obtained, whether to render network services, or a broadcasting service, or communication services. The Authority who grants these licences is ICASA,2 after due consideration of each relevant application. Terms and conditions will be imposed, and they vary depending on the different type and/or class of licence.

  1. Any licensee, and any natural person,3 or a juristic person4 who contravenes or fails to comply with any condition contained in a licence commits an offence.5

  2. The licence may contain terms and conditions relating to the construction of electronic communications facilities or networks. The licence may also contain terms and conditions relating to placing into service such facilities or networks. It is an offence if any licensee, or any natural or juristic person, fails to comply with or contravenes any such term or condition.6

  1. As amended; the latest amendment was effected by Act 1 of 2009. 

  2. See Independent Communications Authority Act of South Africa Act 2000. 

  3. That is, a human being. 

  4. That is, a corporation, company, etc. 

  5. Section 74(1). 

  6. Section 74(2).