The Protection of Personal Information Act and South African Schools
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act was signed into law on 19 November 2013. It is anticipated that POPI Regulations will be promulgated in 2018, commencing the application of the POPI Act.
The main purpose of POPI is to:
give effect to everyone’s right to privacy as enshrined in the Constitution;
facilitate the balance between the right to privacy with other rights, such as the right to access information;
safeguard important interests such as the free flow of information within the Republic and across international borders.
The ambit of POPI includes schools as entities that handle personal information for administrative purposes. The standards set in POPI for the protection of personal information will significantly impact upon the collection, handling and disposal of data in schools.
The attached policy memorandum outlines the requirements of POPI and the implications for independent schools. A POPI Act infographic is also provided.