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You can monitor employee communications IF you meet these three requirements

by , 29 September 2015
According to the Regulation of Interception of Communications Act No. 7 2002 (RICA), you're not allowed to monitor your employees' emails without their consent.

Non-compliance here can lead to a fine of up to R2 million or a prison sentence of as many as ten years.

Having said that though, there are three requirements that, if met, you can monitor communications IN THE COURSE OF RUNNING A BUSINESS.

They are:


The interceptions MUST be for the purpose of monitoring or keeping record of indirect communications, such as emails, to:

·         Confirm the existence of facts. An example could be an investigation into misconduct around false documents;
·         Investigate or pick up the unauthorised use of that telecommunications system;  or
·         Ensure that the entire system is running effectively.

You have an obligation to protect your employee's personal information.

You have to protect your employees' data and personal information. This is according to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI).

If the employee's personal data is leaked and it lands in the wrong hands, you could face a fine of up to R10 million or a prison sentence.

But, you can avoid this…Here's how…

You must have put the telecommunications system in place for use wholly or partly in connection with the business.

In other words, you must have provided the telecommunication systems to your employees for the purpose of them carrying out their jobs.  


The 'system controller', meaning the CEO or equivalent, must have made all reasonable efforts so as to inform the user, beforehand, that the telecommunication systems may be intercepted. You can do this in your communications policy.

Note that if your employees have consented to the interception, whether it be through express or implied consent, then you don't need to worry about this requirement.

So, there were three requirements to meet in order to monitor communications while running a business.

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