The South African government respects digital media freedom. Political criticism is tolerated, and bloggers and journalists are not detained or prosecuted for expressing their opinion online. However, two piece of legislation proposed in 2011 threatened Internet freedom to a great extent.
The General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill proposes to legalize the monitoring of online communications. The second legislation, The Protection of State Information Bill, proposes to make it illegal to access and publish information about certain states. This can affect regular users as well as bloggers.
Over the years, the Internet has become more accessible to South Africans, now adding in the growth of smartphone use. Still, millions of South Africans cannot enjoy the benefit of the Internet because its cost is prohibitively high.
Meanwhile, South Africa has been actively trying to combat cyber crime. The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act of 2002 (ECTA) has made it mandatory for ISPs to issue take down notices when illegal content like child pornography, copyright violations, and defamatory material are brought to their notice.
The South African Development Community (comprising of Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) and the East African Community (comprising of Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya) have come up with plans to beat cyber crime in their areas.
South Africans enjoy a high degree of Internet freedom but many of them use VPN connections to protect their data and privacy from hackers. Here are the VPN companies we recommend for users in South Africa.
When you use Overplay VPN, you can hide your true location. Overplay runs a huge network of VPN servers in about 48 nations. You can choose any of these servers. As their connections are fast, you’ll be able to watch movies, sporting events, and TV shows online. They support most modern operating systems.
NordVPN is designed to work instantly, so you can start using their service within minutes. They don’t keep any user logs and hence offer 100 percent anonymity. All of their servers undergo constant monitoring and their interface is easy to use. With their double data encryption and superfast servers, it is very popular among South African users.
IPVanish offers secure connections and excellent VPN speeds at competitive prices. They have more than 135 servers spread across 59 countries. When you use their connection, you can visit geographically blocked sites from South Africa. Also, you can surf the web with total anonymity.
PureVPN provides secure personal VPN services, thanks to their highly qualified team that manages their network. PureVPN is highly recommended for South Africans who would like to browse the Internet with total anonymity. They support up to five simultaneous logins. Using PureVPN, you can access websites blocked by corporate or government censorship.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access provides total privacy and anonymity using VPN tunneling. Their IPC Cloak feature lets you hide your real South African IP. This will prevent your Internet service provider from identifying your true location, protecting you from online surveillance programs.