On Monday 22 June 2020, Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced that more provisions of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act will come into force on 1 July 2020.

The POPI Act gives effect to section 14 of the constitution, which provides that everyone has the right to privacy. The act promotes the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies and seeks to balance the right to privacy against other rights, such as access to information.

The Act has been put into operation incrementally, with a number of sections implemented in April 2014. Some of these sections include those relating to the establishment of the Information Regulator. The members of the Information Regulator took office on 1 December 2016.

What it means

The sections which will commence on 1 July are essential parts of the act and comprise sections which pertain to, among others things:

  • The conditions for the lawful processing of personal information;
  • The regulation of the processing of special personal information;
  • Codes of conduct issued by the Information Regulator;
  • Procedures for dealing with complaints;
  • Provisions regulating direct marketing by means of unsolicited electronic communication, and general enforcement of the act.

One of the sections taking effect on 1 July 2020 states that all forms of processing of personal information must, within one year after the commencement of the section, be made to conform to the act.



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