Last updated May 2023
1 ABOUT OUR SERVICES
1.1 GovChat Proprietary Limited ("GovChat" / “we” / “us” / “our”) connects you (“user”) with government and is accessible via a computer, mobile device or feature phone. GovChat is the official citizen engagement platform for the South African government, and acts as a centralised hub bringing government and civic services together with a cutting edge Progressive Web Application ("PWA"), intuitive design and ease of access (“Platform”).
1.4 We may add or remove functionality from the Services from time to time, at our discretion. Please note that we do not provide any emergency services nor access to any government emergency services. The Services are provided to you on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis.
2 ACCEPTABLE USE OF OUR SERVICES
2.1 You may be required to register or create an account to access our Services. You are responsible for safeguarding your account, log-in details and one time pins (if provided). You must be 18 years or older to use our Services. You are responsible for all internet access, mobile network operator costs and any other fees and taxes that may be associated with accessing our Services. You must make use of our Services according to our Terms and applicable policies. If we prevent you from using our Services due to a violation of our Terms, you may not attempt to access our Services again or attempt to access through alternative means without our permission. You must access and use our Services only for lawful and acceptable purposes.
2.2 You may not use our Services in a way that:
2.2.1 violates or infringes the rights of GovChat or a third‑party;
2.2.2 is illegal, defamatory, hateful, or racially offensive;
2.2.3 impersonates someone, or
2.2.4 amounts to misrepresentation.
2.3 You may not:
2.3.1 send or attempt to send bulk messages or auto‑messages;
2.3.2 attempt to upload documents or send any content that may contain a virus, ransomware or any other form of malware;
2.3.3 interfere with the proper functioning of the Platform and Services or impose an unreasonably large load on the Platform or our website; or
2.3.4 attempt to reverse engineer the Platform or our website or use any other methods to attempt to find the source code of the Platform or our website.
3 INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
The GovChat name and logo are the intellectual property of GovChat and may not be used in any manner without obtaining our prior written consent.
4.1 GovChat takes security seriously. All reasonable steps have been taken to protect data throughout the Services (for more information see our Privacy Notice). We also work with external service providers, partners and other relevant entities to develop advanced technical systems to detect potential misuse of our Platform and Services. Although we work hard to maintain the security (including the availability, authenticity, integrity and confidentiality) of our Platform and Services in line with the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 and other applicable laws, GovChat cannot guarantee the absolute security of data that is shared and transmitted via our Platform. Accordingly, you accept the risk of providing your information to us for the purposes of using our Platform and Services.
4.2 You may not utilise the Platform and Services in any manner which may compromise the security of GovChat's networks or tamper with the Platform in any manner whatsoever, which shall include without limitation, gaining or attempting to gain unauthorised access to the Platform, or delivering or attempting to deliver any unauthorised, damaging or malicious code to the Platform, all of which is expressly prohibited. Any person or entity which does so, or attempts to do so, shall be held civilly and/or criminally liable. Further, should GovChat suffer any damage or loss, civil damages shall be claimed by GovChat against the person responsible.
5.1 We engage in research to develop, test and improve our Platform and Services. This includes analysing data that we have about our users, and understanding how people use our Platform and Services, for example by conducting surveys and testing and troubleshooting new features. GovChat may share information with you created by researchers, government and other third parties. The researchers, government and third parties are independent parties and GovChat is not liable for any potential misinformation shared.
5.2 GovChat does not warrant that:
5.2.1 the Services will be compatible with your phone, computer or other software or hardware; or
5.2.2 the Services are free from all errors and malware or any other harmful software or devices that have the ability to corrupt your computer.
5.3 GovChat will not be liable for:
5.3.1 the inability to use the Services;
5.3.2 any operational failure of the Services; or
5.3.3 any interruption or failure in the Services.
6 LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
6.1 Your use of our Platform and Services is entirely at your own risk and you assume full responsibility and risk of loss resulting from the use thereof.
6.2 The transmission of information via the internet, including without limitation e-mail, is susceptible to monitoring and interception. You bear all risk of transmitting information in this manner. Under no circumstances shall GovChat be liable for any loss, harm, or damage suffered by you as a result thereof. GovChat reserves the right to request the independent verification of any information transmitted via our Platform and you hereby consent to such verification should GovChat deem it necessary.
6.3 To the extent permissible by law:
6.3.1 Neither GovChat its affiliates, shareholders, agents, consultants or employees shall be liable for any damages whatsoever, including without limitation any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential or punitive damages, howsoever arising (whether in an action arising out of contract, statute, delict or otherwise) related to the use of, or the inability to access or use the content of the Platform or any functionality thereof, or the information contained on the Platform, even if GovChat knows or should reasonably have known or is expressly advised thereof.
6.3.2 The liability of GovChat for faulty execution of the Platform as well as all damages suffered by the user, whether direct or indirect, as a result of the malfunctioning of the Platform shall be limited to GovChat rectifying the malfunction, within a reasonable time and free of charge, provided that GovChat is notified immediately of the damage or faulty execution of the Platform.
6.3.3 You hereby unconditionally and irrevocably indemnify GovChat and agree to hold GovChat free from all loss, damages, claims and/or costs, of whatsoever nature suffered or incurred by GovChat or instituted against GovChat as a direct or indirect result of:
188.8.131.52 your use of the Platform and Services;
184.108.40.206 software, programs and support services supplied by, obtained by or modified by you or any third party without the consent or knowledge of GovChat;
220.127.116.11 your failure to comply with any of the terms or any other requirements which GovChat may impose from time to time;
18.104.22.168 the actions or requirements of any telecommunications authority or a supplier of telecommunications services or software; or
22.214.171.124 any unavailability of, or interruption in, the service which is beyond the control of GovChat .
6.4 GovChat makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, accuracy or completeness of the content of the Platform. You expressly waive and renounce all your rights of whatever nature that you may have against GovChat for any loss suffered by you, as a result of information supplied by GovChat being incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate.
7 TERMINATION OF USAGE
7.1 You may cancel your account at any time through your account settings. We may suspend or cancel your account without notice to you for any reason or no reason at all, including but not limited to if you violate these Terms, create risk or possible legal exposure for us, unlawful conduct, or our provision of the Services to you is no longer commercially viable. If your account is cancelled/deleted, GovChat reserves the right to remove your account information along with any account settings from our servers with NO liability or notice to you.
7.2 These Terms and Conditions survive termination. You acknowledge and understand that our rights regarding any content you submitted to the Platform before the termination of your account shall survive termination.
8.1 These Terms make up the entire agreement between you and GovChat regarding your use of our Platform and Services. These Terms supersede any prior agreements.
8.2 These Terms are governed by the law of South Africa. The courts of South Africa have jurisdiction over any disputes arising from these terms.
8.3 We work constantly to develop new features and improve our Platform and Services to make them better for you. As a result, we may need to update these Terms from time to time to accurately reflect our developments and improvements, and/or to comply with applicable law. Accordingly, we may update these Terms from time to time. You are encouraged to periodically review these Terms to stay informed of updates. Any material changes to these Terms will be notified to you via a service message.
8.4 If any portion of these Terms is found to be unenforceable, the unenforceable portion will be deemed amended to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, and if it cannot be made enforceable, then it will be severed and the remaining portion will remain in full force and effect. If we fail to enforce any of these Terms, it will not be considered a waiver. Any amendment to or waiver of these Terms must be made in writing and signed by us.
8.5 You may not transfer any of your rights or obligations under these Terms to anyone else without our consent. If you are accepting these Terms and using our Platform and Services on behalf of a company, government or other legal entity, you represent and warrant that you are duly authorised to bind such entity to these Terms.
8.6 These Terms do not confer any third party beneficiary rights. All of our rights and obligations under these Terms are freely assignable by us in connection with a merger, acquisition or sale of assets (including our database of registered users), or by operation of law or otherwise.
8.7 We hope that you will continue using our Platform and Services, but if you do not agree with our updated Terms you can delete your account at any time.
8.8 You may direct any queries in relation to these Terms to firstname.lastname@example.org. GovChat a private company incorporated in the Republic of South Africa and has its place of business at 1st Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town.