0861 000 347
Mon-Thu 8:00-16:30 / Fri 8:00-15:00

Holford Jones



South African Data Privacy Law: Certain provisions of POPI coming into force

Article Date: 17 July 2020

Article written by : Shani Weake (Candidate Attorney)

The commencement of certain provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) was gazetted and effective from the 1st July 2020.

The POPI Act essentially reinforces Section 14 of our Constitution in respect of our Right to Privacy.  

Furthermore, the POPI Act contains certain provisions that creates a number of onerous obligations for “Responsible Parties” in regards to the processing of “Personal Information” of “Data Subjects”.

Personal Information” includes, but is not limited, to:

  1.   An identity number;
  2.   Gender and sexual orientation;
  3.   Race;
  4.   Blood type and biometric information;
  5.   Religious beliefs; and
  6.   Any information pertaining to criminal, financial and/or employment history.

The application and the consequences of the POPI Act spreads far and wide, as many institutions process Personal Information on a daily basis, therefore this commentary seeks to prepare and inform those who shall be affected by this Act, as of the 1st July 2020.


Anyone processing Personal Information in South Africa will have a period of 1 (one) year to ensure that they comply with the various requirements enforced by the POPI Act.

Non-compliance with the provisions of POPI after the 1st July 2021, may result in serious consequences including penalties, civil proceedings, criminal offences and fines up to R10 000 000.00 (Ten Million Rand).

The relevant Sections that will take effect from the 1st July 2020 are:

These Sections state the following:

Going forward organisations will need to pay significant attention to the POPI Act and the Personal Information it collects, the way in which they process it, together with the various practical and business appropriate steps to prevent non-compliance thereof.   Failure to do so, will impact one’s reputation and commercial competence as well as create the risk of legal prosecution.



News Archive:

1. South African Data Privacy Law: Certain provisions of POPI coming into force (17 July 2020)
2. Mediation & the Role it plays for our Children (30 August 2018)
3. Step by Step Guide to Mediation in the Magistrates Court (29 August 2018)