Nominees for positions within the Information Regulator to be put to House of Assembly for confirmat

Posted May 18, 2016
Written by Mark Heyink

According to a Twitter feed received yesterday the nominees for positions within the Information Regulator that will be put to the House of Assembly for confirmation of their appointment are Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Ms Tana Pistorius, Mr Lindelo Snail, Mr Johannes Weapond and Advocate Lebogang Stroom.

This is an important and though long overdue, welcome development. Hopefully it will pave the way to the protection of personal information of South African citizens in the not too distant future.

Date of Commencement of POPI

The question on the lips of many observers now is, “When will the commencement of the Act be proclaimed?”

Speaking at the IT Web Security Summit on the 17th May 2016, during a panel discussion in which the possible commencement date of POPI was discussed, John Giles of Michalsons Attorneys made a very important point that the Information Regulator and the President would do well to consider in proclaiming the commencement of POPI. The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) adopted by the European Parliament on the 14th April 2016 and published in the EU Official Journal (similar to our Government Gazette) on the 4th May 2016, proclaimed that the GDPR would come into force on the 24th May 2016 and that it would apply from the 25th May 2018. John Giles’s point is that by the nature of the GDPR many South African companies would, in addition to compliance with POPI, also have to comply with that GDPR. Certainly many of the multinationals in South Africa would be subject to the regulation by virtue of principals being based in European Union countries. It would therefore make sense that the commencement dates are aligned. This would allow companies needing to comply to plan to have a complete implementation of the measures necessary to comply with both POPI and the GDPR by the 25th May 2018.

This would also allow sufficient time for the Information Regulator to become properly functional, develop the regulations that are necessary for the administration of the protection of personal information and take into account the significant development in privacy laws in jurisdictions around the world since the finalisation of the Act in 2013 and the commencement of the Act (whenever it may be proclaimed by the President). The importance of South Africa’s alignment with democracies globally in the protection of personal information should not be underestimated.

©Mark Heyink 2016