The Information Regulator of South Africa was created in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, Act 4 of 2013 on 1 December 2016. The Information Regulator has jurisdictions throughout the Republic of South Africa and must exercise its powers and perform its functions in terms of the abovementioned Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, Act 2 of 2000.
On 4 May 2017 the chairperson of the Information Regulator, Adv. Pansy Tlakula, published a Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan for the period 2017-2020. In this Strategic plan they lay down the vision, mission, values and their mandate as the Information Regulator of South Africa. They also set out 7 strategic outcome-orientated goals for the period of 2017-2020. These goals are:
Goal 1: To inform and educate ordinary South Africans of their rights with regards to protection of personal information and access to information.
Goal 2: To promote a legislative, policy and technological environment that encourage the protection of personal information and access to information.
Goal 3: Commence schedules with relevant stakeholders concerned with the protection of personal information and access to information.
Goal 4: Create regulations, guidelines, codes of conduct and notices with regards to protection of personal information and access to information.
Goal 5: Conduct swift investigations of complaints and guarantee resolution of disputes related to the violation of the protection of personal information and access to information.
Goal 6: Align National legislation with International best practices trough research.
Goal 7: Build a high performing Information Regulator to deliver on its mandate.
Taking the above into consideration, it clearly shows that businesses in South Africa must be alerted to all of these current and new developments as set out in the Information Regulator’s strategic plan. The progress made in the implementation of this Act is proof that the Act is one to be reckoned with and that the legislator is taking serious measures to make the implementation thereof a reality for all businesses.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Altus de Wet is a legal advisor specialising in Consumer Protection and POPI legislation for SEESA Consumer Protection & POPI at our Bloemfontein office. He deals with complaints and queries relating to the relevant legislation on a daily basis. He enjoys researching new developments in legislation and his opinions and advice are much appreciated by his clients and easy to implement in the workplace.