The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 : facilitating electronic commerce

Coetzee, Juana (2004-01)

CITATION: Coetzee, J. 2004. The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 : facilitating electronic commerce. Stellenbosch Law Review = Stellenbosch Regstydskrif 15(3):501-521.

The original publication is available at https://journals.co.za/content/journal/jlc_salj

Article

INTRODUCTION: The development of new technology expanded the ways and means of concluding a contract beyond the traditional methods of oral or written agreement. The Internet enables businesses and entrepreneurs to communicate and transact in ways that were not previously possible. It is common knowledge that electronic or online contracting can improve business efficiency, reduce paperwork and streamline commerce. However, at the same time, the Internet presents some unique challenges to doing business. Many of these challenges are related to the nature of the medium. Because distance is largely irrelevant, it is a far quicker way to do business than the traditional methods, but the price paid in return is a lack of knowledge about the party at the other side of the connection. Less information than would be natural in real-world transactions breeds mistrust, and mistrust could limit the growth of e-commerce, unless a safe and secure environment can be provided.

Ontwikkelinge op die gebied van tegnologie baan die weg vir papierlose handel waar kontrakte gesluit word by wyse van 'n elektroniese medium en nie deur die tradisionele uitruil van mondelinge of skriftelike wilsverklarings nie. Alhoewel hierdie nuwe medium eindelose moontlikhede bied vir sakelui en handelaars, skep dit terselfdertyd ook unieke uitdagings aan die reg om voorsiening te maak dat die omgewing waarin handel gedryf word veilig is en met vertroue gebruik kan word. Die Wet op Elektroniese Kommunikasie en Transaksies, 25 van 2002, verleen erkenning en regsekerheid aan elektroniese transaksies aangegaan binne Suid-Afrika en verleen terselfdertyd ook beskerming aan gebruikers van die elektroniese medium. Hierdie artikel poog om die inhoud van die wet kortliks saam te vat en krities te beskou. Weens die geweldige omvang van die wet is dit onmoontlik om al die aspekte indringend te bespreek en is die primêre fokus dus op die praktiese implikasies vir elektroniese kontraksluiting, soos byvoorbeeld op skrifstelling, handtekeninge, en tyd en plek van kontraksluiting.

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