A recent ruling from the Supreme Court of Appeal shows that simply signing your name at the end of a WhatsApp message or e-mail is enough to constitute a binding agreement.
This ruling found that e-mail negotiations and typed e-mail signatures were binding.
Two companies signed agreements with clauses providing that cancellation to a specific contract could only be made in writing and signed by both parties. However, when the contract was to be cancelled, the terms of the cancellation were recorded in an e-mail exchange and the names of the parties appeared at the bottom of each e-mail.
When one of the businesses entered into another agreement with another company, the former partner interdicted the arrangement on the basis of breaching the former contract.
On appealing the interdict, the SCA upheld the appeal, ruling that the email exchange cancelling the contract was binding in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 (ECTA).
Think before you Message
The ECTA gives communications via data messages (including WhatsApp, BBM, and even social media) the same effect as non-electronic documents.
If a type of electronic signature isn’t agreed upon by both parties when transacting electronically, a person’s name at the end of an email or data message is enough to satisfy the requirements set out by the ECTA – namely:
- It identifies the person.
- It indicates the person’s approval of the information.
- It is reliable and appropriate for the purpose it was communicating, with regard to the circumstances.
- Augmented Reality and financial services |#Marketing | #LTM | Kevin Britz | Craig Page-Lee | #Podcast | #ebizradio - May 6, 2021
- Data and Creative Effectiveness in Digital Marketing |#LetsTalkDigitalZA | Audrey Naidoo | Antonio Petra |#Digital | #ebizradio - May 6, 2021
- Selling requires 3 D’s and a R – do you have them? |#Sales | Shelley Walters | Sales Enabler | #Podcast | #ebizradio - May 5, 2021
- How do we tackle INCLUSION in the workplace? |#HR | #Insight | Kevin Britz | Samkelo Blom | #Podcast | #ebizradio - May 5, 2021
- The events space has now become a hybrid industry | Business Brunch with Bjorn | Liesl Smith | The Events Place | #Entrepreneur | #podcast |#ebizradio - May 4, 2021
- African Women Can Build a Better Future for All Africans with Oil and Natural Gas if Men Just Step Back | #Opinion | NJ Ayuk | African Energy Chamber #Insight | #ebizradio - May 4, 2021
- DiDi e-hailing takes on Uber and Bolt in SA |#Technology | Arthur Goldstuck | #podcast | #ebizradio - May 3, 2021
- Why women are successful leaders | #Leadership | #LunchtimeLeadership | Kevin Britz | Naomi Basson |Sonja Coetzer |#podcast |#ebizradio - May 3, 2021
- The Love Trust – An outstanding NPO | Stephen Brown|#PayItForward |#ebizradio - May 3, 2021
- My therapist is a ROBOT is yours? |#Trends | Dion Chang | Flux Trends | #podcast |#ebizradio - May 3, 2021