The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act is coming into its own in South Africa. All businesses will have to comply with the requirements of this Act, with no exceptions.
On the flip side of the coin we have the The Promotion of Access to Information (PAIA) Act, promoting access to information that is held by the State or another person that is required for the exercise or protection of any right by the person so requesting the information.
All businesses will have to comply with the requirements of this Act as well. The tricky part comes in where these 2 pieces of legislation overlap and have a different set of instructions on what to do to be compliant with each Act.
Balancing this seems difficult, but it does not have to be. Experts in the field can quickly determine which right will weigh heavier when assessing a set of facts.
It will be interesting to observe what the courts will decide, seeing that the POPI Act will be brand new and the PAIA Act has been in operation since 2000.
Businesses will have to comply with both pieces of legislation. Overlapping and grey areas can cause a whole lot of confusion which can be time-consuming for business owners to navigate.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Uys Marais is the SEESA Consumer Protection & POPI Provincial Manager in Gauteng. He obtained his LLB degree from UNISA and started his articles of clerkship in 2004 at PJ Faurie Attorneys. In 2011 he started his career at SEESA as a legal advisor after leaving the practice.