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South Africa: President announces commencement of certain sections of POPIA

The President of South Africa announced, on 22 June 2020, the commencement of certain sections of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 ('POPIA'). In particular, the President outlined that POPIA has been brought into operation gradually, since a certain level of readiness is required, and that some further remaining sections will commence on specific dates. More specifically, Sections 2 to 38, 55 to 109, 111, and 114(1), (2), and (3) will commence on 1 July 2020. These sections are essential parts of POPIA relating to, among other things, the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information, the regulation of the processing of 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 the general enforcement of POPIA. Furthermore, Sections 110 and 114(4) will commence on the later date of 30 June 2021. Section 114(1) covers the 12-month transition period for all public and private bodies to ensure all processing of personal data complies with POPIA. As a result, POPIA will become effective on 1 July 2020. Moreover, Sections 110 and 114(4) relate to the amendments of laws and the transfer the implementation of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 ('PAIA') from the South African Human Rights Commission to the Information Regulator. 

You can read the press release here and the proclamation here.

UPDATE (26 June 2020) 

Regulator welcomes commencement of certain POPIA sections 

The Information Regulator ('the Regulator') issued, on 25 June 2020, a statement welcoming the President's proclamation for the commencement of certain sections of POPIA. In particular, the Regulator outlined that the commencement of POPIA will give the Regulator effective enforcement powers for non-compliance, which includes the issuing of an administrative fine of up to ZAR 10 million (approx. €517,000), imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years, or both. In addition, the Regulator highlighted that its recent activities include, among other things, drafting guidance for the development of Codes of Conduct on the lawful processing of personal information which will be published in the Gazette before the end of the year, engaging the National Consumer Commission on reconciliation between POPIA and the National Consumer Act on direct marketing requirements, and entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the South African Human Rights Commission ('SAHRC') on the transfer of the PAIA function to the Regulator. 

You can read the press release here