DA Calls for Comment on Proposed Cyber Commissioner Bill

Issued by Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP – DA Shadow Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
11 Nov 2022 in News

The DA has published a Notice of Intention to Introduce the Constitution Eighteenth Amendment Bill or the ‘Cyber Commissioner’ Bill. The purpose of this Bill is to create a new Chapter 9 institution – the Office of the Cyber Commissioner.

Cyber threats did not pose a significant threat to the functioning of South Africa when the Constitution was adopted in 1996. Today, cyber security is fundamental to safeguarding the rights of citizens, as well as ensuring that state infrastructure is protected. Cyber-attacks place private and public information at risk, which could result in the economy losing potentially billions of rands to cyber-crime.

The state is currently unprepared for cyber-attacks, with entities tasked with protecting against such attacks being chronically underfunded or lacking the necessary expertise to perform their functions adequately. The DA’s proposed Cyber Commissioner Bill will establish a new Chapter 9 institution tasked with supporting and strengthening constitutional democracy through advising, monitoring and establishing cyber security capabilities in the public sector, while also working with tertiary institutions and the public sector to establish minimum good standards and building cyber security capacity.

The establishment of the specialised Office of the Cyber Commissioner will assist the State in modernising its cyber security capabilities and protecting against the loss of personal information and interception of data.

The DA calls on all parties and institutions to submit comments on the proposed content of the draft Bill to speaker@parliament.gov.za and to legislation@da.org.za by 8 December 2022.