South Africa

Population

53,675,563

Population 0‑14

28.4%

Internet Users

49.0%

Facebook Users

13,000,000

Mobile Subscribers

85,700,000
* Statistics provided by CIA.gov, Internet World Stats and GSMA Intellligence

2007 - Presidential National Commission adopted the Information Society and Development (ISAD) Plan to establish South Africa as an advanced Information Society, where ICT tools and information are key driver. BT launched global development partnership with UNICEF by investing around 20 million Rands into bringing education, technology and communications skills to children from economically disadvantaged areas in South Africa. Cisco made a 5-year, US$10 million commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to support information and communications technology (ICT) development in five countries, including South Africa, by building the Cisco Community Knowledge Center (CKC).

2008 - Thutong Education Portal has been redesigned to allow easier searching of the website and to do the research. South African education portal was launched in 2005 in response to the commitment in the e-Education White Paper, to support the school curriculum through the provision of effective and engaging software, electronic content, and online learning resources. The portal provides access to curriculum and learner support materials, professional development programs for teachers, administration and management resources and tools for schools, education policy documents, as well as information about child online safety for principals, teachers, and parents.

2009 - The Government of South Africa established Film and Publication Board (FPB) though the the Films and Publications Act 65 of 1996, amended in 2009. The mission of the board is to ensure efficient and effective consumer protection through regulation of media content, while educating the public, especially children.

2010 - Film and Publication Board (FPB) launch a campaign to raise awareness and educate children and communities about the dangers of Child Pornography. The campaign also promotes and advises children and parents about the reporting channels for cases of child pornography and related incidents. The FPB became a full member of the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE). It can access INHOPE’s internet hotline services where people can report any online child pornography or sexual abuse images. The Ministry of Education’s Teacher Laptop Initiative was launched as part of a strategy to improve ICT in teaching and learning, the initiative aims to ensure every teacher owns a laptop, and participating educators are required to utilize the notebook in their teaching as well as for administration purposes. As of 2015, the initiative failed to take off because it failed to deliver teacher training and development in ICT, computer literacy and pedagogy. The Department of Basic Education published Guidelines on e-Safety in Schools: Educating towards responsible, accountable and ethical use of ICT in education. The document acknowledges that the schools are responsible to teach students to be responsible online citizens, respecting the rights of others, and displaying ethical behavior on the Internet. It is also provides information on how to provide support to victims of cyberbullying, online harassment, or stalking.

2011 - Even though Internet safety is not explicitly part of the national educational framework, it is included as one of the focus areas in the Information Technology Curriculum for grades 10 - 12. From Grade 10, students are taught the safe and responsible use of the Internet and netiquette, which is broadened in Grade 12 to include cyber crimes, cyber threats and appropriate safeguards, as well as Internet ethics and social networking issues. SchoolNet SA embarked on its Premium Member strategy to compliment its broad-based approach to training teachers on integration of ICT across the curriculum. Since its establishment in 1997, the nonprofit organization has evolved over the past 10 years as the leading agency in the delivery of its own programs, the Educators Development Network (EDN), and as the national agency in the delivery of multinational teacher development programmes, Microsoft Partners in Learning and Intel Teach to the Future. As part of the Clinton Global Initiative, One Global Economy (OGE) trained managers in business management, digital literacy and community engagement for the 16 Community Knowledge Centers (CKCs), recently build by Siyafunda CTC and USAASA, throughout South Africa computer centers owned to establish.

2012 - Since its establishment in 2001, goal of the Khanya Project has been to have every educator in every school of the Western Cape use ICT to deliver curriculum to every student by 2012. As of 2015, through the contribution of Telkom SA, the Khanya Project has helped 1170 schools in the Western Cape to acquire computer technology and teacher training. Director Generals of the two departments and provincial HODs signed the Telkom Masters Services Agreement on 27 March 2012 for Phase 1 Implementation of the Connectivity Plan for Schools, which will provide connectivity to 1650 schools in South Africa.

2014 - Partnership between Coca-Cola South Africa and BT Global Services set up free Wifi Coca-Cola machines in schools of impoverished communities in South Africa. Coca-Cola installed the refreshment-dispensing coolers while BT provided connectivity and internet access, as well as business training. Through the Hope for Children initiative, Samsung Electronics has launched the Solar Powered Internet Schools (SPIS) in South Africa, Samsung hopes to reach 2.5 million learners across the continent in five years. A partnership between Via Afrika Publishers and the NGO Breadline Africa has set up digital learning centers at three primary schools in South Africa. The digital centers are set up in shipping containers that have been refurbished by Breadline Africa.

2015 - FPB run its Back-2-School Campaign under the theme “let’s create a better internet together,” The campaign, which is aimed to create awareness on cyber safety among the children, is conducted annually to coincide with global Safer Internet Day. Local government launched paperless education system pilot project, the Big Switch On, in seven schools in Gauteng, which provides access to learning material, workbooks and other subject matter through the use of ICT. President of South Africa launched a third initiative of the Operation Phakisa, ICT in education sector. Through this program, president believes that the students will graduate “as ethical, discerning, and responsible users of information, and be Information Communication Technology (ICT) capable to make meaningful contributions to society.”

2016 - ICT in Education Workshop, held by the Minister of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), marked an overdue turning point towards the transformation of the education system into a 21st century as envisioned by the White Paper on e-Education, 2004, which was set to be implemented by 2013. The workshop was held in response to the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 goals on implementation of ICT in education, which was launched in 2013.

Camara Education South Africa

A non-governmental organization that works to improve the quality of education by facilitating Information Communication Technology (ICT) throughout educational institutions in South Africa.

Childline South Africa

A nonprofit organization that develops appropriate social services including a 24-hour toll-free helpline and supportive therapeutic social services for children who have been victims of violence, and their families. It provides education and awareness raising programs facilitating the prevention of violence against children.

Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA)

Nonprofit organization that represents 151 child welfare affiliates, 30 developing organisations, 25 outreach projects, and 206 communities in providing protection to children from all forms of abuse.

Department of Basic Education (DBE)

The Department of Basic Education (DBE) was formed when the then National Department of Education was split into two: DBE and the Department of Higher Education and Training. DBE overs primary and secondary education in South Africa.

Department of Communication (DoC)

A subdivision under Ministry of Communications that creates an enabling environment for the provision of inclusive communication services to all South Africans in a manner that promotes socio-economic development and investment through broadcasting, new media, print media and other new technologies, and brand the country locally and internationally.

Film and Publication Board (FPB)

A subdivision under Ministry of Communications that ensures efficient and effective consumer protection through regulation of media content, while empowering the public, especially children, through robust information sharing.

Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI)

Part of the UN ICT task-force, focused on ICT education across Africa and the developing world. Provides technical and research assistance to e-learning programs.

INTERPOL

INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization, with 190 member countries. Its mission is to enable police forces to collaborate globally to fight crime in the Internet age. Three areas of focus are crimes against children (with a focus on internet crimes and travelling sex offenders), cybercrime and human trafficking.

ITU Development Sector, Africa

ITU-D fosters international cooperation and solidarity in the delivery of technical assistance and in the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication and ICT equipment and networks in developing countries.

SASPCAN

South African Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect was the founding organization of the Childline Movement in South Africa, it provides the network of service providers in the field of child protection, training and development. The organization encourages interaction across sectors and professions in child protection and also has made a significant contribution to law and policy relating to children.

SchoolNet SA

A nonprofit educational organization that creates learning communities of educators and learners who use ICT to enhance national education.

Telkom Foundation

The foundation works with the South African government to improve the quality of education at foundation levels.

Cyberbullying in South African and American schools: A legal comparative study (2015)

Department of Mercantile Law and the Centre for Labour Law, Faculty of Law, University of the Free State

This article first provides a general overview of cyberbullying and its impact on learners, schools and education by studying the extent of the phenomenon in both the United States and South Africa.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (2015)

Peter Wallet

This documents presents the current status of the Information and communication technologies in Education in the Sub-Saharan region.

Global Research Project: A Global Landscape of Hotlines Combating Child Sexual Abuse Material on the Internet and an Assessment of Shared Challenges (2015)

Melissa Stroebe, Stacy Jeleniewski, PhD

This report examines hotlines combating Internet-facilitated Child Sexual Abuse Material.

Reducing violence against children, with special focus on sexual exploitation of children and child sex tourism. (2014)

The Netherlands, Defence for Children and ECPAT

This is a program by the Netherlands, Defence for Children and ECPAT, which objective is to reduce violence against children, with special attention to child sexual exploitation and child sex tourism.

Reducing violence agains children, with special focus on sexual exploitation of children and child sex tourism. (2014)

The Netherlands, Defence for Children and ECPAT

This is a program by the Netherlands, Defence for Children and ECPAT, which objective is to reduce violence against children, with special attention to child sexual exploitation and child sex tourism.

Global Monitoring: status of action against commercial sexual exploitation of children (2013)

ECPAT

This report provides the status of actions against commercial sexual exploitation of children in South Africa

Don't Look Away (2013)

ECPAT

Assessment on sexual exploitation of children related to tourism and reporting mechanisms in Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Senegal and South Africa

ECPAT Global Monitoring Report: South Africa (2013)

ECPAT

This report provides the status of actions against commercial sexual exploitation of children in South Africa

ICT in Primary Education (2012)

Ivan Kalaš, Haif E. Bannayan, Leslie Conery, Ernesto Lava, Diana Laurillard, Cher Ping Lim, Sarietjie Musgrave, Alexei Semenov, Márta Turcsányi-Szabó

Status of implementation of ICT in primary schools in Slovakia, Jordan, United States, Chile, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Africa, Russia, and Hugnary.

Small World, Big Responsibility: The UK’s role in the global trade in children (2012)

Erika Hall, Phillippa Lei

This report preset information on the different forms of child exploitation. Its purpose is to raise awareness to this global issue.

Legal responses to cyber bullying and sexting in South Africa (2011)

Charmain Badenhorst

This paper examines cyberbullying and sexting in South Africa and focuses on the responses within the context of existing legislative frameworks and legal remedies available. It also identifies some of the gaps and risks in the legal responses applicable to children who engage in cyberbullying and sexting, and offers some recommendations in an attempt to minimize the gaps and accompanying risks to children.

Safety and Security on the Internet Challenges and Advances in Member States (2011)

World Health Organization

Evaluation of public health threat presented by the Internet in every Member States.

Wots ur ASLR? Adolescent girls’ use of cellphones in Cape Town (2008)

Bosch, T. E

This study explores adolescent girls’ use of MXit, a cellphone based instant messaging service, in Cape Town, South Africa

ICT in Education in Africa (2007)

Shafika Isaacs

This servey reports on implementation of ICT in education in South Africa

Internet Usage and Exposure of Pornography to Learners in South African Schools (2006)

Film and Publication Board South Africa

This survey of Internet usage and the exposure of learners to pornography is part of the Film and Publication Board’s response to concerns expressed by Government, teachers, parents and child protection practitioners about the exposure of children in South Africa to objectionable materials, particularly on the Internet.

This section contains details of the country’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.

Any person under the age of eighteen is considered to be a child in the eyes of the law, unless they are married or have been legally emancipated. The age of consent for sexual activity is sixteen years of age.

In terms of sentencing, South Africa has introduced some mandatory minimum sentencing for crimes deemed to be the most serious. Such sentencing often allows for lesser or partially suspended sentences for crimes committed by children under the age of eighteen. Other sentences are determined at the discretion of the presiding judge, dependent on various criteria which may vary from crime to crime. The Criminal Law Amendment Act (1997) provides details of all mandatory sentencing introduced to 2008.

  • Children’s Act No. 38 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 41 in 2007, Section 17. This states that any person under the age of eighteen is a child, unless they are married or emancipated by order of court.
  • In 2007, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Act No 32 was passed with the intention to review and amend all aspects of the laws, to implement new laws relating to sexual offenses, and to deal with all legal aspects of or relating to sexual offenses in a single statute. Details of relevant sections are given in full below but, broadly, the aims of the Act were:
    • To repeal the common law offense of rape and replace it with a new expanded statutory offense of rape, applicable to all forms of sexual penetration without consent, irrespective of gender;
    • To repeal the common law offense of indecent assault and replace it with a new statutory offense of sexual assault, applicable to all forms of sexual violation without consent;
    • To create new statutory offenses relating to certain compelled acts of penetration or violation;
    • To create new statutory offenses, for adults, by criminalizing the compelling or causing the witnessing of certain sexual conduct and certain parts of the human anatomy, the exposure or display of child pornography and the engaging of sexual services of an adult;
    • To repeal the common law offenses of incest, bestiality and violation of a corpse, as far as such violation may be of a sexual nature, and enacting corresponding new statutory offenses;
    • To enact comprehensive provisions dealing with the creation of certain new, expanded or amended sexual offenses against children and persons who are mentally disabled, including offenses relating to sexual exploitation or grooming, exposure to or display of pornography and the creation of child pornography, despite some of the offenses being similar to offenses created in respect of adults (as the creation of these offenses aimed to address the particular vulnerability of children and persons who are mentally disabled in respect of sexual abuse or exploitation);
    • To eliminate the differentiation drawn between the age of consent for different consensual sexual acts and provide for special provisions relating to the prosecution and adjudication of consensual sexual acts between children older than twelve years but younger than sixteen years;
    • To criminalize any attempt, conspiracy or incitement to commit a sexual offense;
    • To create a duty to report sexual offenses committed with or against children or persons who are mentally disabled.
  • Criminal Law (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Act No, 32, 2007, Section 56, (2) (a). Sets the age of consent for sexual activities in South Africa at sixteen years, regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 1, Rape and Compelled Rape. Section 3, Rape. This section states that anyone who intentionally commits an act of sexual penetration with another person without their consent is guilty of the offense of rape. Section 4, Compelled Rape. States that a person is guilty of the offense of compelled rape if he/she intentionally and unlawfully forces two other people to commit an act of sexual penetration without their consent.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 2, Sexual Assault, Compelled Assault and Compelled Sexual Self-Assault. Section 5, Sexual Assault. This section states that a person who deliberately and illegally sexually violates another person is guilty of the offense of sexual assault. A person is guilty of the same offense if they make another person believe that they will be sexually violated.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 2, Section 6, Compelled Sexual Assault. States that a person is guilty of the offense of compelled sexual assault if he/she intentionally and unlawfully forces a third person to commit an act of sexual violation on another person without their consent.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 2, Section 7, Compelled Sexual Self-Assault. Defines the offense of compelling another person, without their consent, to engage in masturbation, any form of arousal or stimulation of a sexual nature of the female breast, or sexually suggestive or lewd acts with themselves. This is classed as compelled sexual self-assault and also includes coercing someone to engage in any act that has or may have the effect of sexually arousing or degrading the victim, or causing the victim to penetrate in any manner whatsoever his/her own genital organs or anus, without their consent.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 3, Persons 18 Years or Older: Compelling or Causing Persons 18 Years or Older to Witness Sexual Offenses, Sexual Acts or Self-masturbation, Exposure or Display of or Causing Exposure or Display of Genital Organs, Anus or Female Breasts (“Flashing”), Child Pornography to Persons 18 Years or Older. Section 8, Compelling or Causing Persons 18 Years or Older to Witness a Sexual Offenses, Sexual Acts or Self-Masturbation. This section states that it is an offense to compel or cause someone over the age of eighteen without their consent to be in the presence of, or to watch the offender and another person commit a sexual offense, whether it is for the sexual gratification of the offender or not. It is also illegal to coerce someone over eighteen to be in the presence of, or watch the offender engage in a sexual act with another person, or watch another couple engage in a sexual act. The section also states that anyone compelling an adult, without their consent, to be in the presence of, or watch the offender or another person engage in an act of masturbation, is committing a criminal offense.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 3, Section 9, Exposure of Display of or Causing Exposure or Display of Genital Organs, Anus or Female Breasts to Persons 18 Years or Older. States that anyone who exposes, displays, or causes the exposure or display of genital organs, anus or female breasts of themselves or another person to a victim aged eighteen or over without their consent is committing a criminal offense.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 3, Section 10, Exposure or Display of or Causing Exposure of Display of Child Pornography to Persons 18 Years or Older. This section states that it is an offense to intentionally expose or display, or cause to expose or display, child pornography to a person eighteen years or older, with or without their consent.
  • Chapter 2, Sexual Offenses. Part 3, Section 11, Engaging Sexual Services of Persons 18 Years or Older. Defines the offense of purposely engaging the services of a person aged eighteen or older, for a financial or other reward, with the intention of engaging in a sexual act with this person, irrespective of whether the act is committed or not.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 1, Consensual Sexual Acts with Certain Children. Section 15, Acts of Consensual Sexual Penetration with Certain Children (Statutory Rape). This section states that anyone committing an act of sexual penetration with a child (which, for the purposes of this section and section 16 is deemed to be a person aged between twelve and fifteen years of age) regardless of whether the child provided consent, is guilty of the offense of having committed an act of consensual sexual penetration with a child. The section also states that where both the offender and the victim were children at the time of the offense, prosecution must be authorized in writing by the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 1, Section 16, Acts of Consensual Sexual Violation with Certain Children (Statutory Sexual Assault). This section states that anyone committing an act of sexual violation with a child, regardless of whether the child provided consent, is guilty of the offense of having committed an act of consensual sexual violation with a child. The section also states that where both the offender and the victim were children at the time of the offense, prosecution must be authorized in writing by the National Director of Public Prosecutions.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 2, Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Grooming of Children, Exposure or Display of or Causing Exposure or Display of Child Pornography or Pornography to Children and Using Children for Pornographic Purposes or Benefiting from Child Pornography. Section 17, Sexual Exploitation of Children. States that anyone engaging the services of a child, with or without their consent, for financial or other reward; favor or compensation; for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with the victim (irrespective of whether or not the act is committed) or by committing a sexual act, is guilty of the sexual exploitation of a child. The section also states that it is illegal to offer the services of a child to a third person, with or without the consent of the child, for financial or other reward, favor or compensation: for the purpose of committing a sexual act with the child; by inviting, persuading or inducing the child to let the third person commit a sexual act with them; by participating in, being involved in, promoting, encouraging or facilitating such commission; by making available, offering or engaging the child for the purposes of such commission; by detaining the child, whether under threat, force, coercion, deceit, abuse of power or authority, for the purposes of the commission of a sexual act. The perpetrator will be guilty of being involved in the sexual exploitation of a child. This section also defines the offense of furthering the sexual exploitation of a child, which is described as intentionally allowing or knowingly permitting the commission of a sexual act by a third person with a child, with or without the victim’s permission, while being the primary caregiver, parent or guardian. The same offense applies where a person owns, leases, rents, manages, occupies or has control of any movable or immovable property and intentionally allows or knowingly permits such property to be used for the purpose of the commission of a sexual act with a third person and the child. In addition, this section states that anyone who intentionally receives a financial or other reward, favor or compensation from the commission of a sexual act with a child, with or without the victim’s consent, by a third person, is guilty of the offense of benefiting from the sexual exploitation of a child. A person is guilty of the offense of living from the earnings of the sexual exploitation of a child if they intentionally live, wholly or in part, on rewards, favors or compensation for the commission of a sexual act with a child by a third person, with or without the consent of the child. This section also defines the offense of promoting child sex tours, which applies to anyone who makes or organizes any travel arrangements for or on behalf of a third person with the intention of facilitating the commission of any sexual act with a child, with or without consent, irrespective of whether that act is committed or not. A person is guilty of the same offense if they print or publish, in any manner, any information that is intended to promote or facilitate conduct that would constitute a sexual act with a child.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 2, Section 18, Sexual Grooming of Children. Defines the crime of promoting the sexual grooming of a child. A person is guilty of this offense if they: manufacture, produce, possess, distribute or facilitate the manufacture, production or distribution of an article exclusively intended to facilitate the commission of a sexual act with or by a child. The offense also applies if they manufacture, produce, possess, distribute or facilitate the manufacture, production or distribution of a publication or film that promotes or is intended to be used in the commission of a sexual act with or by a child; arrange or facilitate a meeting or communication between a child and a third person by any means from, to or in any part of the world, with the intention that the third person will perform a sexual act with the child or supply, expose or display to a third person:
    • (a) an article which is intended to be used in the performance of a sexual act;
    • (b) child pornography or pornography;
    • (c) a publication or film, with the intention to encourage, enable, instruct or persuade the third person to perform a sexual act with a child. This section also defines the offense of sexual grooming of a child. A person is guilty of this offense if they:
    • (a) supply, expose or display to a child an article which is intended to be used in the performance of a sexual act; child pornography or pornography; or a publication or film, with the intention to encourage, enable, instruct or persuade the child to perform a sexual act;
    • (b) commit any act with or in the presence of a child or describe the commission of any act to or in the presence of a child with the intention of encouraging or persuading the victim or to diminish or reduce any resistance or unwillingness on the part of the child to: perform a sexual act with the offender or a third person; perform an act of self-masturbation; be in the presence of or watch the offender or a third person while they perform a sexual act or an act of self-masturbation; be exposed to child pornography or pornography; be used for pornographic purposes; or expose his or her body, or parts of the body in a manner or in circumstances which violate or offend the sexual integrity or dignity of the victim;
    • (c) arrange or facilitate a meeting or communication with a child by any means from, to or in any part of the world, with the intention of committing a sexual act with the child;
    • (d) having met or communicated with a child by any means from, to or in any part of the world, invite, persuade, seduce, induce, entice or coerce the child (i) to travel to any part of the world in order to meet the offender with the intention to commit a sexual act; or (ii) during such meeting or communication or any subsequent meeting or communication to commit a sexual act; discuss, explain or describe the commission of a sexual act; or provide the offender, by means or any form of communication including electronic communication, with any image, publication, depiction, description or sequence of child pornography of the victim himself or herself or any other person; or
    • (e) having met or communicated with the child by any means from, to or in any part of the world, intentionally travel to meet or meet the child with the intention of committing a sexual act.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 2, Section 19, Exposure or Display of or Causing Exposure or Display of Child Pornography or Pornography to Children. States that it is an offense to unlawfully and intentionally expose or display (or cause the exposure or display of) child pornography or pornography to children, with or without the child’s consent. Items under this classification include any image, publication, depiction, description or sequence of child pornography or pornography; any image, publication, depiction, description or sequence containing a visual presentation, description or representation of a sexual nature of a child, which may be disturbing or harmful to, or age-inappropriate for children, as contemplated in the Films and Publications Act, 1996. It also includes any image, publication, depiction, description or sequence containing a visual presentation, description or representation of pornography or an act of an explicit sexual nature of a person eighteen years or older, which may be disturbing or harmful to, or age-inappropriate, for children, as contemplated in the Films and Publications Act, 1996.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 2, Section 20, Using Children For or Benefitting From Child Pornography. This section states that a person is guilty of the offense of using a child for child pornography if they use a child, with or without the child’s consent (whether for financial or other reward, favor or compensation) for the purposes of creating, making or producing or in any manner assisting to create, make or produce, any image, publication, depiction, description or sequence in any manner whatsoever of child pornography. This section also defines the crime of benefiting from child pornography, for which a person is guilty whenever they knowingly gain financially from, or receive any favor, benefit, reward, compensation or any other advantage, as the result of the commission of any act contemplated above.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 3, Compelling or Causing Children to Witness Sexual Offenses, Sexual Acts or Self-masturbation and Exposure or Display of or Causing Exposure or Display of Genital Organs, Anus or Female Breasts (“Flashing”) to Children. Section 21, Compelling or Causing Children to Witness Sexual Offenses, Sexual Acts or Self-masturbation. States that anyone who, whether for their own or another one’s sexual gratification or not, compels or causes a child without their consent to be in the presence of or watch while the offender or another person commit a sexual offense, is guilty of the offense of compelling or causing a child to witness a sexual offense. This section also states that it is a crime to compel or cause a child without their consent, to be in the presence of or watch the offender or another person while he or she engages in a sexual act. In addition, anyone who compels or causes a child without their consent to be in the presence of or watch the offender or another person while he or she engages in an act of masturbation, is guilty of the offense of compelling or causing a child to witness self-masturbation.
  • Chapter 3, Sexual Offenses Against Children. Part 3, Section 22, Exposure or Display of or Causing Exposure or Display of Genital Organs, Anus or Female Breasts to Children (“Flashing”). Defines the offense of unlawfully and intentionally, whether for the sexual gratification or not, exposing or displaying or causing the exposure or display of the genital organs, anus or female breasts of the offender or another person to a child, with or without the consent of the victim.
  • Chapter 6, National Register for Sex Offenders. This chapter states that anyone committed of a sexual offense against a child is barred for life from working with children, including in a supervisory capacity. Sex offenders are also barred from acting as adoptive or foster parents to children. The chapter also states that a national register containing the details of sex offenders must be established and maintained with effect from June 30, 2009. Employers are able to check the register to see if an employee or potential employee is on it and, if they are, become obligated to dismiss the employee if their employment falls under a prohibited category for those who have committed sexual offenses against children. Employers who fail to follow the law under this section face a prison term of up to seven years, a fine or both. Employees who fail to notify their employer that they are on the register, or anyone applying for a job, face imprisonment of up to seven years, a fine or both. The register will also contain the details of any person from South Africa who has been convicted by a court in another country of a sexual offense against a child. Some convictions (such as those which incur a prison term of between six and eighteen months) may enable the offender to have their details removed from the register ten years after the date on which they were added. Those who have incurred sentences of over eighteen months or who have two or more convictions of sexual offenses against children will have their details stored for life.
  • Chapter 7, General Provisions. Part 1, Miscellaneous Offenses: Obligation to Report Commission of Sexual Offenses Against Children […] or Inducing Another Person to Commit Sexual Offense. Section 54, Obligation to Report Commission of Sexual Offenses Against Children or Persons who are Mentally Disabled. This section states that anyone who has knowledge that a sexual offense has been committed against a child must report this immediately to a police official. Anyone failing to report such knowledge is guilty of an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period of up to five years, or both.
  • Chapter 7, General Provisions. Part 1, Section 55, Attempt, Conspiracy, Incitement or Inducing Another Person to Commit Sexual Offense. States that anyone who attempts, conspires with any other person, or aids, abets, induces, incites, instigates, instructs, commands, counsels or procures another person, to commit a sexual offense in terms of this Act, is guilty of an offense and may be liable to the punishment to which a person convicted of actually committing that offense would be liable.
  • Chapter 7, General Provisions. Part 2, Defenses and Sentencing, Inability of Children under 12 Years and Persons who are Mentally Disabled to Consent to Sexual Acts […], Section 56, Defenses and Sentencing. This section states, among other things, that anyone charged with an offense under Section 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 cannot contend that a marital or other relationship exists or existed between him or her and the victim as a defense. This section also states that where a person is charged with an offense under Section 15 or 16, it is a valid defense to argue that the child deceived the accused person into believing that he/she was sixteen years or older at the time of the offense and the accused person had reason to believe this to be true. A person may not be convicted of an offense in terms of Section 16 if both the accused persons were children and the age difference between them was not more than two years at the time of the offense. (This ensures that children who engage in certain acts with each other, such as kissing, cannot be prosecuted for doing so if both agreed to such acts.) This section also states that if a person is convicted of any offense under this Act, the court that imposes the sentence shall consider as an aggravating factor the offender’s intent to gain financially, or receive any favor, benefit, reward, compensation or any other advantage; or any financial gain, favor, benefit, reward, compensation or any other advantage the offender has acquired from the commission of the offense.
  • Chapter 7, Section 57, Inability of Children Under 12 Years and Persons who are Mentally Disabled to Consent to Sexual Acts. States a person under the age of twelve years or a mentally disabled person is incapable of consenting to a sexual act.
  • Chapter 7, General Provisions. Part 6, Transitional Provisions Relating to Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Purposes. Section 70, Application and Interpretation. Pending the adoption of legislation in compliance with the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Trans-National Organized Crime (signed on 14 December 2000) and the repeal of this Part, the transitional provisions in this Part relating to the trafficking in persons for sexual purposes are provisionally provided in partial compliance of the international obligations and to deal with this rapidly growing phenomenon globally.
  • Chapter 7, General Provisions. Part 6, Section 71, Trafficking in Persons for Sexual Purposes. This section states, among other things, that anyone who traffics another person without their consent is guilty of the offense of trafficking in persons for sexual purposes. This section also states that a person is guilty of the offense of involvement in trafficking in persons for sexual purposes if they: order, command, organize, supervise, control or direct trafficking; perform any act which is aimed at committing, causing, bringing about, encouraging, promoting, contributing towards or participating in trafficking; incite, instigate, command, aid, advise, recruit, encourage or procure any other person to commit, cause, bring about, promote, perform, contribute towards or participate in trafficking. Circumstances in which the victim does not voluntarily or without coercion agree to being trafficked, include, but are not limited to, the following: where the victim is, at the time of the commission of the act, asleep; unconscious; in an altered state of consciousness, including under the influence of any medicine, drug, alcohol or other substance, to the extent that the consciousness or judgment is adversely affected; a child below the age of twelve years; or a person who is mentally disabled.
  • Films and Publications Act 1996 (Act No 65 of 1996). Legislative provisions dealing with Child Pornography are contained in the Films and Publications Act, no 65 of 1996. In addition, any sexual act committed with a child is also punishable in terms of the Criminal Law Amendment Act as detailed above.
  • Films and Publications Act 1996. Section 1, Definitions. ‘Child Pornography’ includes: any image, however created, or any description of a person, real or simulated, who is, or who is depicted or described as being, under the age of eighteen years engaged in sexual conduct; participating in, or assisting another person to participate in sexual conduct; showing or describing the body, or parts of the body, of such a person in a manner or in circumstances which, within context, amounts to sexual exploitation, or in such a manner that it is capable of being used for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
  • Films and Publications Act 1996. Section 27, Possession of Certain Publications and Films Prohibited. This section states, among other things, that a person is guilty of this offense if they are in possession of a film or publication which contains child pornography or which advocates, advertises or promotes child pornography or the sexual exploitation of children. Anyone who creates, produces or in any way contributes to, or assists in, the creation or production of such a film or publication; imports or in any way takes steps to procure, obtain or access; or knowingly exports, broadcasts or in any way distributes or causes to be exported, broadcast or distributed, is guilty of the same offense. This section also states that a person is guilty of an offense if they, having knowledge of the commission of an offense described above or having reason to suspect that such an offense has been or is being committed, fails to report such knowledge or suspicion as soon as possible to the South African Police Service; or fails to furnish, at the request of the South African Police Service, all particulars of such knowledge or suspicion.
  • Films and Publications Act 1996. Section 27A, Registration and Other Obligations of Internet Service Providers. This section states that every Internet Service Provider has to register with the Board and take all reasonable steps to prevent the use of their services for the hosting or distribution of child pornography. If an ISP has knowledge that its services are being used for the hosting or distribution of child pornography, the ISP shall take all reasonable steps to prevent access to the child pornography by anyone; report its presence as well as details of the person maintaining, hosting, distributing or in any manner contributing to such Internet address, to the South African Police Service; and take all reasonable steps to preserve evidence for purposes of investigation and prosecution. In addition, the ISP shall, upon request by the South African Police Service, furnish the particulars of users who gained or attempted to gain access to an Internet address that contains child pornography. Any person who fails to comply with the provisions of this section is guilty of an offense.
  • Films and Publications Act 1996. Section 30, Punishments. This section states that anyone found guilty of a contravention of section 27A, or paragraph 2 of section 27, may be sentenced to a fine or to imprisonment for a maximum of five years, or both. Any person found guilty of a breach of section 27 paragraph 1 may be sentenced to a fine or to imprisonment for a maximum of ten years, or both.
  • Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Person Act, 2013. The act adopts a broad definition of what constitutes trafficking and imposes harsh penalties for violations, such as maximum of life imprisonment for trafficking in persons. In addition, it imposes a duty on Internet service providers to prevent the use of their services to support trafficking in persons (including advertising or promoting of trafficking in persons), to report to the South African Police Service when they discover such uses, and to take measures to suppress such use. Failure to comply is an offense punishable by up to five years of imprisonment.

Actions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: South Africa has acceded, with no declarations or reservations to articles 16, 17(e) and 34 (c), to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and to articles 2 and 3, to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

2007 - The South African legal system has undergone changes since in its legislation system, which has overhauled existing legislation pertaining to offenses of a sexual nature, and has introduced or updated legislation pertaining to child pornography and the trafficking of persons for sexual purposes.

2009 - The country’s National Register for Sex Offenders, formally launched in July of 2009, sees the minimum term for offender registration as ten years and all other offenders incurring lifetime registration, as well as being prohibited from holding positions which involve working with or near children.

2010 - To ensure the protection of children from online pornography, the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA) proposed the Internet and Cell Phone Pornography Bill, which makes it illegal to distribute pornography for Internet and cell phone service providers. Currently The current legislation only bans child pornography through the Film and Publications Act, the newly proposed bill provides a total ban on all pornography through the Internet.

2011 - South Africa hosted the first Southern African Internet Governance Forum, which was attended by the governments and private sectors of Southern Africa. Among many recommended priorities, the participants agreed to promote awareness, development of legislation and enforcement, as well as advocate for technologies to protect children online.

2012 - A South African version of Google Family Safety Center was launched in partnership with UNICEF and various civil society and government groups.The center provides information and advice to parents and teachers on how to keep their children safe online and works with charities, NGOs and government organizations to protect young people from Internet dangers. The site provides tools to prevent children and adolescents from accessing or being exposed to harmful and illegal content through the Google platform.

2013 - South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, signed into law the legislation on human trafficking, the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill (PCTPB). The legislation criminalizes various acts that constitute or relate to trafficking in persons within or across the borders of the Republic and imposes harsh penalties for violations. In addition, it imposes a duty on Internet service providers to prevent the use of their services to support trafficking in persons. Internet Safety Campaign was launched at the Cyber Summit in Cape Town. A campaign addresses two critical areas of concern which contribute significantly to crimes: the need to increase awareness among technology practitioners about the current crime issues; and the lack of public awareness of the dangers and proactive safety measures.

2015 - Cabinet has approved amendments, proposed by the Department of Communications, to the Films & Publications Act of 1996, and currently are set to come up before the Parliament for discussion. The amendments require all online content distributors to ensure that their content is not offensive or in violation of the country’s laws.

2016 - South Africa celebrated Safer Internet Day, where Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), together with Google SA, the Film and Publications Board (FPB) and the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, launched Web Rangers. The initiative encourages young people to follow safer Internet behaviours, and come up with initiatives and ideas to help their peers to practise safer Internet use. South Africa began observing Safer Internet Day in 2013, which was supported nationally by Google SA in partnership with the Department of Communications, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, the UN Children’s Fund South Africa, and Mxit, Africa’s largest social network. Google hosted a series of workshops that were designed for children and teenagers to teach about online rights, laws, and the responsible use of social networks.