A legal advisory workshop held for members of the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association of South Africa (WASPA) has brought the organisation’s members up to speed with the latest developments in the legislative environment in which they operate.
Some 50 representatives from WASPA members attended the workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town in February this year. The workshops were organised and presented by Helaine Leggat and Pria Chetty of Chetty Law, one of South Africa’s leading legal practices focused on technology and innovation law.
The programme had a specific focus on the South African legal system and its relevance to the WASPA Code of Conduct. It took a close look at the various laws and regulations that impact on WASPs and how they operate, including, the Constitution of South Africa, the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, the Consumer Protection Act the Electronic Communications Act , and the new Companies Act. Additionally, the programme included material on the impact of the King III Code for Corporate Governance in South Africa.
The country’s WASPs operate in an increasingly complex environment where not only laws and governance codes apply, but also industry codes of conduct and best practice, said Leggat. The workshop aimed to help them understand what the cohesiveness of this regulatory environment means for their businesses.
In addition, the workshops helped members to understand how WASPA’s own Code of Conduct is aligned with the country’s legal framework. “The WASPA Code of Conduct is one of the best Codes of its type in South Africa,” said Leggat.
“The Association can fine and take other steps against members that breach its code of conduct. It’s important for members to understand the purpose it serves for the industry as a self-regulation mechanism.”
The primary objective of the WASPA Code of Conduct is to ensure that members of the public can use mobile services with confidence. The Code of Conduct also sets standards for advertising mobile application services, and includes a framework for the provision of services by WASPs.
Said Leggat: “The workshops received a positive response from the WASPs, who are all trying to come to grips with their rights and obligations under South African law as well as with the best practices that WASPA promotes.
Most of those that attended the workshop agreed that they were given a better knowledge of the regulations and laws that impact their businesses, which will in turn help them to better manage legal and business risks into the future.”