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Foreign content providers underestimate local laws

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Overseas mobile content and application providers wanting to target Africa’s 900-million cellular users seriously underestimate the sophisticated regulatory and legislative framework in continental leaders like South Africa.

Not only is the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa often held up as an example of one of the world’s finest founding documents, consumers in Africa’s biggest economy are protected to a degree mobile content providers from Eastern Europe and Asia find surprising.

Purchasers of goods and services can fall back on the South African Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 and the National Credit Act 35 of 2005, amongst others. The way businesses transact with mobile consumers, in particular, is governed by legislation from the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 to the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.

In addition, the country’s cellular sector is well-ordered with the country’s Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association of SA (WASPA) being an especially vigorous enforcer of its Code of Conduct which has been repeatedly tightened since this industry representative body (IRB) was founded in 2004.

“Few foreign content providers seeking to take advantage of African opportunities realise local organisations like WASPA even exist, never mind have the power to issue fines and expel members,” says Grace Mlimo, chief commercial officer (CCO) of InTarget Mobile Advertising.

In order to transact with the more than 35-million contract and prepaid customers of South Africa’s Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), WASPA membership is mandatory. InTarget is a founding member of WASPA. “Aside from being on the right side of legislative and regulatory compliance, foreign content providers will be interested to know that InTarget has also succeeded in the technically-challenging task of embedding its systems within the country’s mobile network operators over the past 15 years,” explains Mlimo.

While InTarget is an SA-headquartered organisation the company now serves over 2,1-billion adverts across African mobile users each month. InTarget Mobile Advertising is already listed amongst the Top 25 Mobile Ad Networks by Thalamus, the world’s biggest ad vendor database.

“We remain ready to help mobile content providers create the right content, while ensuring these cellular services are ultimately able to be delivered to the millions of local mobile users who together make up one unmissable African opportunity,” says Mlimo.