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The Act, as amended, seeks to advance the values of transparency and accountability and give effect to the constitutional right of access to information. The Act came into effect on 9 March 2001.

The Act establishes the following statutory rights of Requesters to any Record of a Private Body if:

– That Record is required for the exercise or protection of any of his or her legal rights; – That Requester complies with all the procedural requirements; and – Access is not refused in terms of any ground referred to in the Act.

POPIA seeks to promote the protection of Personal Information processed by a Private Body and establishes the Information Regulator with duties and functions in terms of the POPIA and the Act. The purpose of the POPIA is to:

– give effect to the constitutional right to privacy, by safeguarding Personal Information when processed by a Responsible Party, subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at— • balancing the right to privacy against other rights, particularly the right of access to information; and • protecting important interests, including the free flow of information within the Republic of South Africa and across international borders;

– regulate the manner in which Personal Information may be processed, by establishing conditions that prescribe the minimum threshold requirements for the lawful processing of Personal Information in line with international standards;

– provide Data Subjects with rights and remedies to protect their Personal Information; and – establish voluntary and compulsory measures, including the establishment of an Information Regulator. 

KPMG South Africa Information Manual