Wonder no more – POPI commencement announced for 1 July 2020

The long wait is over. The Protection of Personal Information Act (“POPI”), promulgated in 2013 and of which certain sections became effective in 2014 has now, just north of 6 years later, been given the go-ahead for the commencement of the majority of sections. As POPI was published in its entirety all those years ago, businesses had ample time to start testing out their information protection frameworks and getting them streamlined for the day on which POPI would finally commence.

The commencement date has been speculated on for quite some time, however official communication from the President’s office, and its publication in the Government Gazette, on the 22nd of June 2020 has now dispensed with the need for further speculations:

Sections 2 – 38; sections 55 – 109, section 111; and section 114(1)-(3) will commence on the 1st of July 2020.

If you have waited with your compliance project; or if your business has been complying with POPI requirements for quite some time now, but would need to tweak a few processes, you need to act fast. These sections commence from the 1st of July 2020 but note that section 114(1) effectively provides for a one-year compliance streamlining period.

Accordingly, although the commencement date is less than a month away, a 12 month “implementation period” to get ready for compliance will apply.

Finally, section 110 and section 114(4)’s commencement date has been announced as 30 June 2021. This allows time for processes to be put in place for the Information Regulator to hit the ground running once compliance with POPI is expected from entities.

If you need any assistance in getting your business’ POPI obligations in line with the legislative requirements, feel free to let us know – our team is ready to assist you.

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