The Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPI)
On the 17th of June, President Ramaphosa signed the final enabling legislation to finally give effect to POPI with effect from 1st July 2020. Although it comes into full force, businesses have until the end of June 2021 to comply with the ACT.
The key aims of the POPI ACT is as follows:
- To promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies;
- To introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information;
- To provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000;
- To provide for the issuing of codes of conduct;
- To provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making;
- To regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and
- To provide for matters connected therewith
In order to ensure that your business is POPI compliant the following checklist will assist:
- Ensure that all contracts include POPI compliance notices
- Ensure that your business direct marketing campaigns are POPI compliant
- Identify what personal information your business collects and how it is stored
- At all times consider consumer’s rights when engaging with them
The COVID-19 Shock and The Revised Economic Outlook
The global shock prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and unprecedented restrictions designed to protect public health, have led to a sharp contraction in the domestic economy. Government interventions have cushioned the impact on workers and businesses, but have not offset the full decline. South Africa’s economic growth is forecast to fall by 7.2 per cent in 2020 as a result of the crisis, the March and April 2020 credit rating downgrades, and the compounding effects of weak investor confidence. The economic outlook is highly uncertain.
Yet this crisis also presents an opportunity to enact major reforms. To break with a pattern of weak growth and overcome structural inequality, the South African economy cannot merely return to where it was before the pandemic. Forging a new economy in a changed global reality will require a social partnership between business, labour, communities, and government.
Government envisions a package of economic reforms that will improve productivity, lower costs and reduce demands of state-owned companies on the public purse. These measures include finalising electricity determinations, unbundling Eskom and taking other steps to open up energy markets, modernising ports and rail infrastructure, and licensing spectrum. Additional reforms, in line with Economic Transformation, Inclusive Growth, and Competitiveness: Towards an Economic Strategy for South Africa include:
- Lowering the cost of doing business, reducing red tape and improving access to development finance for small, medium and micro enterprises
- Support for agriculture, tourism and other sectors with high job creation potential
- Facilitating regional trade
- Reducing the skills deficit by attracting skilled immigrants
- Revamping the skills framework, and undertaking a range of reforms in basic education and the post-schooling environment to improve outcomes for workers – and the firms that can employ them
To realise the full benefits of these reforms for the economy’s growth potential over the long term, implementation should begin now.
Gazetting of Trade Exposure and Greenhouse Gas Benchmark Regulations and Renewable Energy Premium Notice in Terms of the Carbon Tax Act
The Minister of Finance published on Friday, 19 June 2020 the regulations for the trade exposure and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity benchmark performance allowance, and the notice for the renewable energy premium, in terms of the Carbon Tax Act.
The finalisation of the regulations concludes an extensive stakeholder consultation process on the carbon tax over the past decade. Going forward, the National Treasury will embark on a policy process to inform the second phase (from 1 Jan 2023) to assess the impact of the carbon tax in bringing down the absolute level of GHG emissions.
The review will consider strengthening the rate of the carbon tax and adjustments of the tax-free allowances in line with the Paris Agreement requirements for carbon neutrality by 2050 and pursuing mitigation efforts to limit warming to well below 1,5 degrees Celsius.
The carbon tax is an integral part of Government’s package of policy measures to mitigate climate change as outlined in the National Climate Change Response Policy, National Development Plan and its Nationally Determined Contribution commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The gazetted Regulations and Notice together with a detailed summary of the stakeholder comments on the draft regulations and government responses are available on the National Treasury website (www.treasury.gov.za). In addition, the sector and subsector trade and production data, methodology for ensuring the compatibility of the data, and calculations of the trade exposure allowance for the different sectors and subsectors are also published for information purposes.