POPIA – FOR COMPLEXES AND ESTATES
It was announced by human settlements Minister M.Kubayi that the POPI Act is not just for businesses in South Africa to be compliant but also for sectional title and community schemes.
Minister Kubayi said, “Community Schemes should only collect personal information necessary for the purpose of collection and further put in place measures which protect such personal information belonging to members and their visitors from unauthorised disclosure or theft. Failure to do so will result in the imposition of fines or other enforcement steps taken by the Information Regulator.
Accordingly, all entities need to invest in the resources they have identified to ensure that the principles of the POPI Act are upheld.”
Schemes must comply with the following requirements:
- A POPI policy
- revised the scheme’s rules to comply with POPI;
- A POPI oversight representative, who is the scheme’s information officer;
- POPI agreements with stakeholders who have access to owners’ and tenants’ personal information,
It is said that schemes who do not meet the requirements can face hefty fines of up to R10 Million. This is the degree of importance that POPI compliance in housing schemes are. This is due to the amount of information and the type of information collected by these schemes. For example, one estate/ complex holds information of all of its tenants, stakeholders, landlords and visitors; ranging from ID numbers to biometrics to banking details. Because of this, POPIA states that housing schemes need to be able to explain what information is being collected, why it is being collected, how it is being stored, processed and deleted (when necessary) and when these things are happening.
Our personal information is regarded, as per the POPI act, as our property. And just like any other possession, when someone else takes it, uses it, damages it, without our permission it is an unlawful act. This is why the fines for POPIA non-compliance are so high and why actual jail time can be served.