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The Department of Communications and Digital Technology Continues its Consultation on a National Policy on Data and Cloud

The DCDT is to hold a final round of discussions on the Draft National Policy on Data and Cloud with stakeholders, including EFSA, on 3 August. This Newsletter reported earlier this year on the DCDT’s publication of this draft Policy and of EFSA’s submission. EFSA welcomed more action to close the digital divide in SA and to increase education on the digital economy, but EFSA warned against imposing a wide requirement for national data localisation (the enforced local storage of data generated in SA).

EFSA pointed out that this practice would create non-tariff barriers to trade within the African Free Trade Area and could reduce the existing business enjoyed by SA which is the only country in Africa with 4 (soon to be 5) mega-storage servers. Localisation is also considered to reduce national protection against cybercrime. SA already imposes data localisation on financial data, and requires the banks to store all their data locally. The African Union was planning a discussion on the issue on 26 July, but postponed at the last moment – a new date is awaited.


Alastair Tempest

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