Sat, 07 Dec 2019

The State Security Agency has said that the rollout of 5G in South Africa would "not have any potential state security threats".

In reply to a Parliamentary question by IFP MP Russell Cebekhulu, Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo said information shared with "strategic investment partners" would be governed by adequate existing laws and regulations.

Dlodlo's answer did not say which partners she was referring to.

"The SSA will (be required to) further verify and continuously monitor all hardware and software providing 5G services to detect potential threats and vulnerabilities," she said, without providing further information.

South Africa is thought to favour Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in the rollout pf 5G. At a digital Summit at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand in early July President Cyril Ramaphosa said the US was "jealous" of the success of the Chinese company.

"It is important that even as there is a trade war, or whatever, it should not spill over to disabling various countries in the world and various peoples in the world [...] We want 5G and we know where we can get 5G," he said.

The US has accused Huawei of stealing intellectual property, and has warned that Huawei's 5G rollouts pose a security threat, due to the firm's alleged closeness to the Chinese state. Huawei has denied it poses a security risk or has stolen secrets, calling a ban on the use of its 5G equipment in the US a 'dangerous precedent'.

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