Statement: Minister of Communications on Blackberry Encryption


The Minister of Communications refers to the comments made by the Deputy Minister of Communications Mr Obed Bapela at the Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference  (SATNAC) in East London. The Deputy Minister call for the encryption codes on Blackberry to be made available to government. This matter was widely reported on in the media.

The Minister of Communications wishes to issue the following clarifying statement on this matter:

The Minister of Communications aligns itself with the statement issued by the Minister of Justice Mr Jeff Radebe, the Coordinator of the Justice Cluster in Government that government has no intention to regulate or legislate against Blackberry Encryption messenger services (BBM). The government is still working on a policy statement on Cyber matters which policy will review current regulatory and Legislative instruments with respect to cyberspace matters.

The Minister however welcomes the willingness of Research in Motion (RIM) to work closely with government to prevent the abuse of the encrypted messenger services by criminals for unlawful purposes. Government has no intention to intercede or interfere with the privacy of communications between private citizens for lawful purposes.


Pearl Seopela

Cell: 082 906 1404

Issued by: Department of Communications
8 Sep 2011