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How private is private in Sectional Title?

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Jul 13, 2021

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The latest on the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 (POPI Act)

It seems that in the last few years Sectional Title owners have been hit left, right and centre with new legislation and directives.  Trustees have been promoted to “scheme executives” in the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act, and are now held to a higher standard in terms of their fiduciary duties.    The latest piece of legislation to burst onto the scene after languishing in the background for a few years is the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI Act).  Now that it’s here, the wisest course of action for Trustees is to get up to speed with what it says.  Section 1, Part A of Chapter 5, Section 113, commenced on 11 April 2014.  The commencement date of the other sections is 1 July 2020 with the exception of two sections.  The Act is designed to promote the protection of personal information and to bring South African’s privacy laws in line with international standards.  It limits the rights of businesses to collect, process, store and share personal information.  It also makes businesses accountable for protecting the privacy of this information.

As Trustees are you able to respond when owners will want to know what you are doing with their personal information?  How will you warn them that their personal information may be made available to those inspecting the books of account and record?  What about visitors who provide personal information to the guards at the gate?

A Body Corporate should have a clearly expressed and up to date policy about its management of personal information.  The policy should include:

  • The kind of personal information which the complex collects and holds;
  • How the complex collects and holds personal information;
  • The purposes for which the informative collects, uses and discloses personal information;
  • How an individual may access personal information;
  • How an individual can complain to the Information Regulator and how the complex will deal with that type of complaint.

This list is not exhaustive.  We suggest that you obtain professional advice and assistance when it comes to reviewing and updating your privacy policies and privacy statements.

Marina Constas
Director BBM Inc Attorneys

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