Are you recording conversations without someone’s consent? Are you wondering whether it is lawful to do so? I bet you did not know that it is lawful to monitor a phone conversation or even someone speaking in a room full of people without their consent to do so.

There are many examples of this issue arising. This is something that happened to the Springbok rugby player Luke Watson many years ago. The Financial Mail ran a piece on 24 October 2008 around statements at a rugby club function by controversial player Luke Watson about the Springbok jersey and the “Dutchmen” who run the game in South Africa.

What the law says

In South Africa, the law says that “Any person … may intercept any communication if he or she is a party to the communication…” It says nothing about having to first get their consent. The words “party to the communication” have been defined and include the sender, the recipient, and any persons to whom the communication is copied. (See section 4 of the monitoring law in South Africa, the Regulation of Interception of Communications & Provision of Communication-Related Information Act of 2002 (RICA))

You do not need someone’s consent when recording conversations

What about legal persons?

There is legal uncertainty as to whether a “legal person” (such as a company or other non-person) would be able to rely on this exception: for example when a supervisor listens in on the calls of call centre operators to monitor their performance. There is a potential argument that the company, by providing the relevant electronic communication system, is a party to any communication that is sent or received on such system.

You should inform them

Whilst the law does not require you to obtain the consent of the other party to the communication, it is still polite to inform the other party to the communication that you are recording it! But remember that if you are not party to the communication, it is unlawful.

How we can help

Lawfully monitor and record conversations in the workplace, like in a call centre.


If you are interested, please complete the form on the right or enquire now. We will contact you to find out more about your requirements and give you a quote.