The use of electronic signatures in cross-border transactions can be fraught with difficulties given the lack of uniformity relating to electronic signatures across countries. This position is further exacerbated by the lack of widespread adoption of the Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts 2005, which sought to standardise electronic communications. The

Are electronic signatures valid? It depends: the parties must explicitly agree to the use of electronic signatures and must agree a signing method which complies with the requirements in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 (ECTA).

What constitutes an electronic signature and whether such signatures are valid in South Africa has become a question