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Exemption for Small Companies on PAIA Manual Extended

July 1, 2021

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The current exemption on smaller private bodies developing Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA)) Manuals has been extended.

The justice and constitutional development department published the extension notice in Government Gazette 44785.

In a recent statement, the department pointed out that the exemption was due to expire on 30 June 2021 but has been extended by the justice and correctional services minister, Ronald Lamola, for a further six months.

The extension is effective from 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 to afford private bodies that are currently exempted adequate time to compile their PAIA Manual.

According to the notice, the exemption does not apply to private companies that have 50 or more employees or a total annual turnover equal to or more than the amounts set out in column 2 of the Schedule.

The department pointed out that the scope of information that the PAIA Manual must cover has been widened to include matters relating to the processing of personal information in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

In Gazette 44782, the department republished the amendment to the commencement date of Section 58(2) of POPIA published in Gazette 44761.

Section 58(2) will come into effect on 1 February 2022.

The Information Regulator had originally determined that 1 July 2021 was the date on which section 58(2) would become applicable to processing referred to in section 57.

Section 58(2) stipulates that “responsible parties may not carry out information processing that has been notified to the Regulator in terms of subsection (1) until the Regulator has completed its investigation or until they have received notice that a more detailed investigation will not be conducted”.

Section 57 focuses on processing subject to prior authorization.

The processing of any unique identifiers of data subjects, information on criminal behaviour or on unlawful or objectionable conduct on behalf of third parties, information for the purposes of credit reporting or the transfer of special personal information or the personal information of children to a third party in a foreign country with inadequate protection of personal information requires prior authorisation from the Regulator.