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(READ WITH: https://www.justice.gov.za/inforeg/docs/InfoRegSA-GuidanceNote-IO-DIO-20210401.pdf )

Whilst the Protection of Personal Information Act, Act #4 of 2013 (‘POPIA’) comes into effect in its totality on July 01 2021, the Information Regulator (‘IR’) has indicated that applications for the appointment of the Information Officer (‘IO’) may be submitted from May 01 2021.

Submissions must be done using the form prescribed by the IR.

POPIA defines the IO as “head of private body as contemplated in section 1 of Promotion of Access to Information Act”, Act #2 of 2000 (‘PAIA’) – the latter states that it is “the chief executive officer or equivalent officer of the juristic person or any person duly authorised by that officer.

As we all (should) know PAIA has been with us for a long time & equally long ago all entities were required to draft and submit manuals and appoint information officers in terms thereof. PAIA is aimed at allowing access to any information held by the State, and any information held by private bodies that is required for the exercise and protection of any right.

The manual underpins many aspects of POPIA and if you do not have such a document, same should be drafted & submitted ASAP!

Whilst PAIA determines that ‘the head’ is deemed to be the IO, POPIA allows for such party to appoint any natural person who is an employee of the entity as IO and the IO may in turn appoint deputies.

The IO & deputies (‘DIO’) must meet the following requirements i.e. they must:

  • Be natural persons
  • Be employees of the entity
  • Be trained (not by IR)
  • Fall into ‘management level’ category
  • Understand POPIA, PAIA & have ‘institutional knowledge’ of the entity’s ‘operations & processes’
  • IO may appoint more than one DIO as required based on ‘the size and structure’ of the entity
  • Report to ‘the highest management office’

Duties of IO & DIO (POPIA & PAIA):

  • Create POPIA compliance framework
  • Apply & ensure POPIA & PAIA compliance
  • Carry out privacy impact assessment/audit/SWOT analysis
  • Deal with requests from the IR
  • Prepare/update/make available PAIA manual
  • Deal with requests for information in terms of POPIA and/or PAIA
  • Work closely with IR
  • Create internal awareness

Please be aware of the possible criminal liability of the IO & DIO – this is determined by the Enforcement Committee for transgressions detailed in PAIA (such as destruction; alteration of records) but bear in mind that these require inter alia willfulness and/or gross negligence and excludes acts done in good faith (See POPIA sections 50, 90 & 93 & PAIA section 77).

April 25 2021

DISCLAIMER - Each case depends on its own facts & merits - the above does not constitute advice - independent advice should be obtained in all instances.

POPIA BARTER SPECIAL – All of us in the tourism industry are cash-strapped so please contact me for my special offer to assist you with POPIA COMPLIANCE ON A BARTER BASIS

LEGAL ADVICE CLUB ('LAC') - You can obtain specialized tourism advice from Louis (39 years in tourism) on an hoc basis via the COVID SPECIALS for SATSA, FEDHASA, ST&BA & TRAVELPEOPLE members (1) 10 minutes of pro bono (Free) advice via a phone call or e-mail and/or (2) by joining his LAC for which the joining fee & hourly rates have been reduced by 30% AND you can pay the joining fee over 3 (three) months! The fee for the 1st hour(per month) is now only R500, 00.

Please contact me, Louis the Lawyer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 083 679 4556.

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