[Cape Town] – Legislation regulating e-commerce in this
country is expected to be passed in the first quarter of next year,
following the expected release of the White Paper in January,
Communications Director-General Andile Ngcaba announced
yesterday in Parliament.
Ngcaba revealed that an E-commerce Green Paper should be
released for comment in August this year, leading to the drawing-up
of the White Paper.
Speaking to the Public Accounts standing committee in Cape Town,
Ngcaba stressed that to rush a bill through parliament would be
foolhardy considering that officials charged with regulating the
industry needed to be first extensively briefed about the changing face
of online commerce.
“People need to be educated about all these issues,” he commented,
adding that e-commerce presents both problems and opportunities for
The Green Paper is expected to cover issues such as e-commerce
taxation, intellectual property issues, e-procurement, encryption and
the impact of online commerce on existing “brick and mortar”
Speculation is rife amongst industry stakeholders as to whether the
government will be treating these issues as “problems” or
“opportunities”, especially when it comes to the contentious issue of
Ngcaba yesterday stressed the importance of a comprehensive
regulatory framework especially in the area of electronic
He cited the fact that the state itself spends R65-billion a year in
procuring goods and services, a large portion of which is expected to
be moved online, as evidence of the need for a watertight regulatory
The discussion document was
released earlier this year setting out the
issues and eliciting public comment.