SA’s Information Regulator clamping down on ‘junk’ calls to consumers

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

News reports say 14 infringement notices are being issued to organisations for contravening consumerprotection laws.

South Africa’s Information Regulator is clamping down on public and private organisations making ‘junk’ phone calls in violation of consumer protection laws governing direct marketing activities in the country. 

Photo credit: Moose Photos from Pexels


According to a report on the News 24 website, the regulator is issuing the first enforcement notice this week for contraventions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA). 


Another news report on the Sowetan Live website claims that 14 such notices will be issued in coming weeks by the Information Regulator, which enforces the provisions of POPIA. Offending organisations may be fined if they do not amend their direct marketing practices, as instructed by the regulator. 


“POPIA requires that the conditions for lawful processing of personal information are adhered to. This is what the IR will insist on with regards to the direct marketing calls,” a spokesperson for the Information Regulator, Nomzamo Zondi, is quoted as saying by News 24. 


Zondi explained that an organisation would be violating direct marketing rules if it provides or uses information without getting the consent of the individual concerned, or if it contacts a person after they have asked to be removed from a database. 


South Africans receive about 15 unsolicited calls a month. 


Law for All, a business that offers legal insurance cover, says on its website that South Africa ranks fifth in the world as far as spam calls are concerned, and the average South African receives about 15 unsolicited calls a month. 


There are various ways in which personal information is captured and, ultimately, distributed, Law for All says. 


It adds: “For example, consumers who shop online often inadvertently give the company’s marketing team permission to contact them about other products and offers.  


“Another prominent method used to compile databases is loyalty cards or other similar schemes – like free Wi-Fi or social media competitions that require customers to sign up or opt-in.  


“Additionally, many insurance companies team up with other businesses and client information is shared between the two parties.” 


In the interests of consumer protection, the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA) has an opt-out service known as the Do Not Contact List.  


Consumers can register their details on the list, and DMASA members are then prohibited from contacting them.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.