Although the ECT Act stipulates that – “Subject to subsection (1), and electronic signature is not without legal force and effect merely on the grounds that it is in electronic form.”, there are still certain legal documents that must be signed the traditional way by using a wet ink signature.

In terms of ECTA, the following documents will not be accepted in electronic format and cannot be signed electronically:

  • an agreement for the sale of immovable property, as provided for in the Alienation of Land Act, 1981;
  • a long-term lease of immovable property in excess of 20 years;
  • the execution of a bill of exchange, such as a cheque, governed by the Bills of Exchange Act, 1964; and
  • the execution, retention and presentation of a will or codicil, as governed by the Wills Act, 1953.

Don't worry if you forget which documents cannot be signed electronically. During the document creation process, an option will be provided to select the type of signature that will be applied to the document. When a document cannot be signed by way of electronic signature the options relating to an electronic signature will be greyed out and only the option to apply a wet ink signature will be available.