Launch of the Data Protection Act 2022 and Commemoration of Data Protection Day

Thulani Maseko was not only martyred for his faith in democracy and rule of law
January 26, 2023
Half-day National Multi-stakeholder Consultation Workshop
February 6, 2023

On Thursday 26 January 2023, CANGO joined various stakeholders for the launch of the
Data Protection Act, 2022 and the commemoration of the 2023 Data Protection Day. The
Minister of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT) was
represented by the Principal Secretary (PS) Mr Phesheya Dube. The PS stated that the
enactment of the Data Protection Act in March 2022, was a manifestation of the country’s
commitment to protect personal information of its citizens and lay down the procedure for the
lawful processing of personal information.

The PS also paid homage to the honourable members of both houses of Parliament with
whom the Ministry has had several workshops where the Data protection Bill was unpacked,
interrogated, debated and shaped into the final product which is the Act. Furthermore, the
PS thanked ESCCOM management and staff who have collaborated with the Ministry
throughout the promulgation process and played a pivotal role during the training workshops
with the honourable members of both Houses of Parliament.

The PS further stated that protection of personal information is a daunting task owing to the
various parties that are involved in the processing of personal data and the rights of the
citizens at stake. It is imperative therefore that there be laws and procedures in place guiding
the processing of personal information by all these parties.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM)
also gave remarks in which he stated “The Act refers to you as data controllers or data
processors depending on the level at which you process personal data. It refers to
individuals whose data is being processed as data subjects, and further guarantees those
subjects with certain inviolable rights”. The CEO further stated that the Act expands its
mandate and designates the Commission as the Eswatini Data Protection Authority
responsible for administrating the Act and ensuring compliance, but mostly to ensure that
personal information is processed lawfully, and the rights of data subjects are protected.

Partners were also urged to view data protection not as an expense but rather a necessary
investment that will increase the level of trust for the general public to be confident that their
personal data is used in accordance with the purpose it was collected for.
Data Protection Day.

In regards to Data Protection Day, the CEO informed stakeholders that they are joining the
world in commemorating what has become to be known as Data Protection Day which is
commemorated internationally on January 28th each year to promote privacy and raise
awareness on best practices when it comes to data protection. The day focuses on raising
awareness for individuals, businesses and consumers on how we can better protect our data
and private information in the digital era.

The data protection day was first commemorated in 2007 by the Council of Europe, along
with the support of the European Commission. Furthermore, it was stated that the
Commission adopts 28 January each year and renews the country’s commitment to protect
the personal data of all emaSwati. Processors or controllers were called upon to embrace
and uphold the rights of data subjects and embark on awareness programmes at different

CANGO acknowledges the government’s commitment and intervention to ensure citizen’s
data is protected as the country moves towards the 4 th industrial revolution. Lastly, CANGO
actively advocates for the implementation of the Data Protection Act 2022 to be carried out
in a transparent and participatory manner.

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