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Date announced: POPIA commences on 1 July 2020
Date announced: POPIA commences on 1 July 2020
23 June 2020 | Views: 3138
Don’t let this be a ticking time bomb for your business - get your affairs in order NOW before the clock starts ticking on 1 July 2020.

After what feels like an eternity of waiting for the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (“POPIA”) to come into force, we finally have a date which you can save on your digital business calendar as POPIA’s big day!

President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken a brief break from handling all things COVID-19 related and announced that the majority of the Protection of Personal Information Act’s provisions will come into force on 01 July 2020.

It is important to take note of the commencement date, since the one year grace period will start running from 01 July 2020 and end on 30 June 2021. This means that you and your business will soon have a mere 12 months to become compliant with the provisions of POPIA or risk facing penalties imposed by the Information Regulator, suffering reputational damage or even having legal action brought against you.

For all those procrastinators out there, don’t make the mistake of thinking that 12 months is a long time and become complacent. The process to become compliant may be quite time-consuming and can take anything from a few months to a few years to get everything running smoothly! Ideally, businesses should aim to get their compliance procedures in place well before the grace period ends next year, in order to ensure that implementation of compliance procedures is as error-free as possible and leaving enough time to ensure compliance with POPIA and for employees to become familiar with their new obligations to ensure data protection.

If that wasn’t enough to motivate you to take action, consider the severe penalties which may be imposed due to non-compliance with POPIA, as penalties may range from fines of up to R10 million and even a jail sentence of up to 10 years, depending on the seriousness of the breach. More than that, the Information Regulator may also engage in reputational damage, which may be devastating for your business at a time when economic circumstances are already challenging.

We suggest you arrange a consultation with an attorney who specialises in information and data protection as soon as possible in order to develop a tailored POPIA compliance plan for your business on how to attain compliance with the Act. 

Should you need help, we have a range of POPIA related solutions ranging from online training solutions to extensive POPIA compliance plans that can be tailored for your business’ needs and to assist you with your POPIA compliance.

Click here to check out some of our POPIA articles on our website, or contact us for an in-depth workshop or training seminar on POPIA, or even let us do a POPIA audit on your business to enable you to identify the areas that may need attention.