Minister of Communications rallies South Africans to do their bit to create a better online environment

8 February 2016

As the World Celebrate Safer Internet Day on the 9th of February 2016, Minister of Communications Ms Faith Muthambi is calling on all young and adult South Africans to play their role in promoting a safe, responsible and positive online environment. Muthambi’s call is in line with this year’s theme which is: ‘Play your part for a better internet’.

“This day is celebrated globally to bring our attention to the need to develop high-quality online content for children and young people, step up awareness and empowerment, in particular through digital literacy and skills, and mobilise support for the prevention of child abuse, especially through online platforms,” said Muthambi.

“A better internet is good for society and promotes the advancement of our country, and is ultimately good for all of us. It is therefore the responsibility of everyone; parents, teachers, children, young people and care-givers to get together and make sure that we stand together for a safer and better online space,” she added.

The Department of Communication has proposed amendments to the Films & Publications Act of 1996 which, among other things, will compel all online content distributors, to ensure that their content is not offensive or in violation of the country’s laws.

Cabinet approved these proposed amendments for tabling in Parliament in November last year. These are set to come up before Parliament for discussion. What we seek to achieve with these amendments is the extension of the functions of the Film and Publications Board of monitoring compliance with the Films and Publications Act to include online distributors in respect of the requirements to comply with the Act.

The safer online campaign has evolved over the years, from a focus on creating a 'safer' internet, to creating a 'better' internet. From cyber-bullying to  cybercrime , each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues.

Mish Molakeng
Cell: 082 469 3997             

Issued by GCIS on behalf of the Department of Communications

Media Statement date: 
Monday, February 8, 2016