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The Legal Recognition of Electronic Signatures in South Africa: A Critical Overview

The Legal Recognition of Electronic Signatures in South Africa: A Critical Overview AASHISH SRIVASTAVA and MICHEL KOEKEMOER I. INTRODUCTION The last two decades have seen an electronic commerce revolution impacting on a range of business and government activities. This revolution is also apparent in South Africa. It has been reported that over R2 billion was spent online in 2010, a 30 per cent increase from 2009.1 Electronic commerce (e-commerce) can be defined as the use of electronic networks to exchange information, products, services and payments for commercial and communication purposes between individuals (consumers) and businesses, between businesses themselves, between individuals themselves, within government or between the public and government and, lastly, between business and government.2 E-commerce increases convenience and choice, fosters competition and, more importantly, generates new business opportunities and market efficiency. At the same time, however, e-commerce presents unique challenges to the way we do business. These challenges lies in ensuring the authentication (that is, providing certainty that a document is actually from the sender and not from an impostor) and integrity (that is, the communication has not been altered in the course of its transmission) of electronic communications. PhD (Monash University), Lecturer, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University, Australia. Lecturer, Department of Mercantile Law, University of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

The Legal Recognition of Electronic Signatures in South Africa: A Critical Overview

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2013
Subject
Articles; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/ajicl.2013.0071
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AASHISH SRIVASTAVA and MICHEL KOEKEMOER I. INTRODUCTION The last two decades have seen an electronic commerce revolution impacting on a range of business and government activities. This revolution is also apparent in South Africa. It has been reported that over R2 billion was spent online in 2010, a 30 per cent increase from 2009.1 Electronic commerce (e-commerce) can be defined as the use of electronic networks to exchange information, products, services and payments for commercial and communication purposes between individuals (consumers) and businesses, between businesses themselves, between individuals themselves, within government or between the public and government and, lastly, between business and government.2 E-commerce increases convenience and choice, fosters competition and, more importantly, generates new business opportunities and market efficiency. At the same time, however, e-commerce presents unique challenges to the way we do business. These challenges lies in ensuring the authentication (that is, providing certainty that a document is actually from the sender and not from an impostor) and integrity (that is, the communication has not been altered in the course of its transmission) of electronic communications. PhD (Monash University), Lecturer, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash University, Australia. Lecturer, Department of Mercantile Law, University of

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2013

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