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ECT Act

26 February 2004

According to an article in the BusinessDay, this will result in electronic transactions having the same legal force as paper based transactions, thereby giving organisations more confidence to conduct business electronically. An e-mail, for instance, will now be legally binding since according to section 12 by being
(a) in the form of a data message; and
(b) accessible in a manner usable for subsequent reference.
it meets the requirements of "in writing".

The Act goes a long way in encouraging South African businesses to accept the inevitability and benefits of an electronic environment. What this means is that businesses will have to start educating their staff and implementing the kind of IT systems and policies which will ensure that electronic documents are securely stored and unalterable. Security standards to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of data to the correct people will also have to be implemented.

Full article in Business Day

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