This Data Privacy Day, we take stock of where we are and how far we've come in terms of data privacy in South Africa. 

The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 ("POPIA") mostly came into force on 1 July 2021. Since then and leading up to the commencement date, there was a flurry of activity as organisations hurried to ensure that they met the minimum requirements of the law. 

Now, as we start a new year, organisations should interrogate how effective the measures they have implemented are and whether any changes need to be made.

The POPIA compliance journey is not over yet. The remaining provisions, particularly section 58(2) dealing with prior authorisation, come into effect from 1 February 2022 and we've already noted increased submissions to the Information Regulator in respect of prior authorisation applications. It remains to be seen how many applications will be further investigated.

In addition, from 1 January 2022, the exemption applicable to certain private bodies in respect of compiling a Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 ("PAIA") manual no longer applies. This means that all organisations are now required to compile and publish a PAIA manual as per the provisions of POPIA, PAIA and the recently promulgated PAIA Regulations.

In August 2020, we made a number of predictions regarding data privacy compliance, some of which were quite accurate:


If yours is one of those organisations that has rushed POPIA compliance, has not started your POPIA compliance journey, or needs to remedy POPIA non-compliance audit findings, then do not hesitate to contact one of our experts below.

ENSafrica provides comprehensive and full-service data privacy, data breach and cyber security advice and assistance, including the preparation of data management and security policies, contracts and procedures for businesses, information officer training services and advice on all aspects of POPIA.

Click  here for more information on our data privacy and protection offering.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.