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Introduction and history

POPI promotes the protection of personal information by public and private bodies.

POPI was signed into law by the President on 19 November 2013 and published in the Government Gazette on 26 November 2013.

The President signed a proclamation declaring certain provisions of POPI into effect from 11 April 2014. They included part A of Chapter 5 of the Act which provides for establishment of the Information Regulator. The other sections allow for making of regulations where they are required in the Act. These sections created the framework within which the Act will operate once fully in force.

The National Assembly approved the appointment of the members to the Information Regulator on 7 September 2016 and on 1 December 2016 the Information Regulator was appointed.

Now more than 6 years since the proclamation of the Act and 3 and half years after appointment of the Information Regulator, the remaining provisions (save for two) are operational as from 1 July 2020.

Application of the Act
POPI will apply to any institution, entity or body that processes and stores personal information, such as legal practices in general, insurance companies, schools, hospitals, debt counsellors, HOA, banks and estate agents.

Purpose of the Act
The purpose of the POPI is to give effect to the constitutional right to privacy. The Act intends to achieve a balance between the right of privacy and the right to information.
The Act intends to achieves its purpose by safeguarding personal information processed by public and private bodies.

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