By Sanette Viljoen
The year 2020 was crammed with interesting events, e.g. Covid-19, the lockdown, farm murders, etc. With all these events the commencement of the POPIA act came and went totally unnoticed.
On 1 July 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced 1 July as the date on which the Protection of Personal Information Act (Act 4 of 2013 – POPIA) would take effect. This Act includes provisions regarding notices when personal information is gathered, the way in which this information may be obtained, and direct marketing by means of electronic means. All businesses that process personal information are given until and including 30 June 2021 to make sure that they comply with the provisions of the Act.
It is not always easy and quick to set up the physical and electronic means to comply with the POPIA act. That is why businesses that have not yet started with is should get going immediately. It could entail big expenditure to get these not necessarily planned for measures in place. Given that many businesses are going to run around in the coming months to get their businesses POPIA ready, the availability of advisers and experts could become problematic.
And, lastly, a fine of R10 million could be imposed with the risk of imprisonment if your business does not comply. It is therefore advisable for businesses to start on this before time runs out.