Wednesday, October 29, 2014

South African Information and Communication Technologies

By David Simms, Senior Contributor
The Global Institute for Cyber Safety and Standards

It has been suggested that ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) should be handled differently in different countries, this most in particular when referring to South Africa. Spokespeople claim that though there exists an extreme wealth polarisation in the country, access to ICTs are still prevalent everywhere and becoming more-so exponentially. In conjunction with ubiquitous access, South Africa is experiencing high rates of gender-based violence already prevalent in the country. This is thought to be exacerbating cyber-bullying occurrences. Quantitatively, the risky practice of sexting has escalated considerably more in South Africa than in other countries where gender-based violence is less common. Corporal punishment is still widely used throughout the country and is subject to some controversy. Speculation reveals this is having a direct effect on young people’s propensity toward cyber-harassment and like bullying crimes.

Throughout the European Union, Australia, and North American countries, a united system would prove effective but South Africa may well be one country, summarising its unique set of cultural differences, that may require novel and specifically tailored laws to address the growing cyber problem there. The one commonality with any other country though, is the timing and swiftness of action as nowhere and for no reason should victims continue to be victimised or pursued to suicide.