On Wednesday (July 1) The National Council of Provinces approved a number of bills, of which the Cybercrimes Bill and the Civil Union Amendment Bill stood out the most.
Introduced in 2017, the Cybercrimes Bill works to criminalise the theft, interference and misuse of data in an attempt to bring South Africa’s cybersecurity laws in line with the rest of the world.
“The bill further aims to regulate the powers to investigate cybercrimes, to further regulate aspects relating to mutual assistance in respect of the investigation of cybercrimes and to provide for the establishment of a 24/7 point of contact,” the NCOP said during Wednesday’s sitting.
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“The bill also imposes obligations on electronic communications service providers and financial institutions to assist in the investigation of cybercrimes. It also provides that the executive may enter into agreements with foreign states to promote cybersecurity.”
Some of the online messages which will soon be illegal to send/share:
- A message which incites damage to property or violence
- A message which threatens persons with damage to property or violence
- A message which unlawfully contains an intimate image
The NCOP also agreed to the Civil Union Amendment Bill on Wednesday. The aim of this Bill is to revoke section 6 of the Civil Union Act. Section 6 allows a marriage officer to object to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex on the ground of conscience, religion, or belief. According to the committee, marriage officers referred to in the Bill are public servants employed by the Department of Home Affairs.
“The committee also considered section 195 (1) of the Constitution which provides that public administration must be governed by the democratic values and principles enshrined in the Constitution, including in subsection (d) that services must be provided impartially, fairly, equitably and without bias,” it said on Wednesday.
“The committee noted further that Section 197 (3) of the Constitution provides that no employee of the public service may be favoured or prejudiced only because that person supports a particular party or cause.
The committee agreed that the repeal of section 6 of the Civil Union Act, 2006 was important in advancing equality and upholding the constitutional rights afforded to persons entering into same-sex unions.”
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Source | Business Tech