Protection of Personal Information (POPIA) & the Right to Access to Information (PAIA)

Disclaimer & Website Terms of Use


PAIA Exemptions

Section 51 PAIA (which was profoundly amended by POPIA) requires all private companies to make a “Manual” available on their website, at the office and to anyone who requests it.

However, most companies have been exempted from this obligation by the Minister of
Justice and Correctional Services, Mr Ronald Lamola, up until 31 December 2021, “to afford private bodies that are currently exempted adequate time to compile their PAIA Manual (…) As this is a final exemption, all public and private bodies (including those that are currently exempted) must have their PAIA Manual available at their principal place of business or on their web site.

Here are good reasons to make a POPIA/PAIA manual available right now:

(1) The Manual is required in terms of Access to Information (PAIA) and in terms of Personal Information (POPIA); (2) Companies that process personal information need to make available prescribed steps for how to request access to, or amendments and deletion of personal information; (2) Section 90(3) of the (amended) PAIA makes it a criminal offence for the “head of a private body to wilfully or in a grossly negligent manner fail to comply with s51 PAIA” (= compile and make available a manual); (3) Regulation 4(c) instructs information officers to ensure that “a manual is developed, monitored, maintained and made available”; and (4) There is nothing wrong with being publicly transparent about how your company processes (personal) information.

View the Regulator’s latest media statement about PAIA here


Your company is NOT exempted …

… and is legally required to make a s51 manual available, if:-

(1) the company trades in one of the sectors listed below AND employs 50 or more people OR (2) trades in one of the sectors listed below AND has an annual turnover as listed per sector below or more.

  • Sector

  • Annual Turnover

  • Agriculture

  • R 6 million

  • Mining and Quarrying

  • R 22.5 million

  • Manufacturing

  • R 30 million

  • Electricity, Gas and Water

  • R 30 million

  • Construction

  • R 15 million

  • Retail and Motor Trade and Repair Services

  • R 45 million

  • Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents and Allied Services

  • R 75 million

  • Catering, Accommodation and other Trade

  • R 15 million

  • Transport, Storage and Communications

  • R 30 million

  • Finance and Business Services

  • R 30 million

  • Community, Special and Personal Services

  • R 15 million