According to the Draft Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill, which has been proposed to replace the National Key Points Act, you could see yourself facing up to 20 years in prison for taking pictures [“for unlawful purposes”] of over 200 national key points in the country, including Nkandla, the Union Buildings, the SABC building, the SA Reserve Bank buildings, the Houses of Parliament, and many others.
The proposed Act lists the reasons why this is necessary, including to:
- secure critical infrastructure against threats;
- ensure that information pertaining to certain critical infrastructure remains confidential;
- ensure that objective criteria are developed for the identification, declaration and protection of the critical infrastructure;
- ensure public-private co-operation in the identification and protection of critical infrastructure; and
- promote co-operation and a culture of shared responsibility between various roleplayers in order to provide for a multi-disciplinary approach to deal with critical infrastructure protection.
The Bill doesn’t go into detail about what “unlawful purposes” refers to.
“[Any person that] takes or records, or causes to take or record, an analog or digital photographic image, video or film of a critical infrastructure or critical infrastructure complex with the intent to use or distribute such analog or digital photographic image, video or film for an unlawful purpose; unlawfully damages, endangers, disrupts or threatens the safety or security at a critical infrastructure or part thereof; unlawfully threatens to damage critical infrastructure and unlawfully enters in or onto, or gains access to critical infrastructure… is liable upon conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years, or to both a fine and such imprisonment,” the Bill states.
The National Key Points Act became law in 1980 and was enacted to stop the bombings and sabotage of key installations by liberation movements’ operatives fighting against apartheid.
Earlier this year, the Mail & Guardian managed to get a hold of an early copy of the list of National Key Points. You can see it here.