With the General Election on 8 May, it is not surprising that things have been quite quiet in Pretoria these last months. Some proposals have been taken off the statute books – at least for the time being, like the Copyrights Amendment Bill, which eventually was smothered by complaints from almost all stakeholders (we reported on the comments EFA submitted earlier this year); and the Protection of State Information Bill. Slowly but surely, without the formal implementation, the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) is being applied, with more Regulations expected from the Regulator before the year’s end. Work is also ongoing to prepare regulations on the Customs Control Act and Customs Duty Act, both of which were passed to help cross border trade.
The revision of the Electronic Communications Transactions Act is expected in the new Parliament. The National Consumer Commission has also talked about a revision to the Consumer Protection Act. Both these acts fall under the Department of Trade and Industry, with its new Minister and two Deputy Ministers, so we shall have to wait and see how they want to look at consumer protection in future.
EFA also talked recently to the Department of Telcoms and Postal Services, which has a Forum on International Relations. It was suggested that EFA might join this. We will probably have to wait to see if the DTPS will be fully incorporated into the Department of Communications. We were also told that the DTPS’s ICT Forum, which has been in abeyance these last two years, may be revived.