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Governance of Cybersecurity -- The Case of South Africa

By Ewan Sutherland
LINK Centre Visiting Adjunct Professor
Cybersecurity is a growing concern for governments, with the push for universal access to the Internet, the increasing ubiquity of social networks and the growing reliance on digital government service, and given a growing range of threats from foreign powers, terrorists and criminals. These complex issues span all government ministries, their agencies and contractors, plus provincial and municipal government, and require the state to create legal frameworks and agencies to protect data and offer advice to businesses and citizens, plus ensuring a sufficient supply of skilled technicians and engineers. In the case of South Africa, its government responded in 2015 with a National Cybersecurity Policy Framework (NCPF), with implementation led by the Ministry of State Security. The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act of 2013 created the Information Regulator to ensure data privacy. The POPI regime is only being implemented slowly and has overly wide exemptions for national security. South Africa lags behind advanced economies in cybersecurity legislation, in government coordination, in engagement with business and citizens, and in the supply of skilled labour. Delays have meant it lacks the experiences obtained in faster moving countries, and the improvements they have made to their policies and, especially, implementation. Parliament has neither pressed the government for faster action nor explored areas where powers might have been taken that infringe human rights.
cybercrime, cybersecurity, data protection, privacy, governance, South Africa
Recommended Citation
Sutherland, E. (2017). Governance of cybersecurity – the case of South Africa. The
African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC), 20, 83-112.
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