To mark the global celebration of Safer Internet Day 2016, communications minister Faith Muthambi says South Africans must promote a safe and responsible online environment.
It is everyone's responsibility, including parents, teachers, children, young people and care-givers, to get together and make sure the nation can stand together for a safer and better online space, she comments.
"This day is celebrated globally to bring our attention to the need to develop high-quality online content for children and young people, step up awareness and empowerment, in particular through digital literacy and skills, and mobilise support for the prevention of child abuse, especially through online platforms," she said.
To address emerging online issues in SA, the communications department has proposed amendments to the Films and Publications Act of 1996, which will compel all online content distributors to ensure their content is not offensive, or in violation of the country's laws.
Cabinet approved proposed amendments to the Act for tabling in Parliament in November last year. The amendments are set to come up before Parliament for discussion.
"What we seek to achieve with these amendments is the extension of the functions of the Film and Publications Board of monitoring compliance with the Films and Publications Act to include online distributors to comply with the Act," she said.
Safer Internet Day is an annual event that aims to raise awareness and promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology.