On Wednesday, 7 September 2016, the National Assembly approved the nomination of advocate Pansy Tlakula as the Chairperson of the Information Regulator for the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (POPI).

Four other appointments that were approved –

  • full-time members Advocate Lebogang Stroom and Johannes Weapond; and
  • part-time members Professor Tana Pistorius and Sizwe Snail.

The Information Regulator’s office –

  • is an independent entity with jurisdiction in South Africa and is subject to the Constitution and to the law.
  • must exercise powers and perform functions in terms of POPI and the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
  • must be impartial and perform its functions and exercise its powers without fear, favour or prejudice.
  • is accountable to the National Assembly.

The chairperson and members hold office for a period of not more than five years, and are eligible for reappointment.

Next steps

  • Confirmation of all appointments by the President of South Africa.
  • Regulations to be promulgated under POPI, for example, the regulations setting out the cost of making a subject access request and the prescribed standards for codes of conduct.
  • The announcement of a commencement date. Organisations will have time to comply fully and will not be liable for fines or non-compliance for a period of 12 months from the commencement date.

Now would be a great time for organisations to start or ramp up their POPI implementation efforts. Our virtual privacy lawyer, POPI Counsel, can assist with your privacy law questions and provide practical guidance through your implementation process. POPI Counsel produces legal opinions for you on demand, at anytime and anywhere. Contact us for more information.