Former IEC Chairperson Pansy Tlakula has nominated by the National Assembly as South Africa’s Information Regulator.
This newly established role is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance, as well as handling complaints related to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI). Advocates Lebogang Cordelia Stroom and Johannes Collen Weapond join him as full time members, while Profesor Tana Pistorius and Sizwe Snail Ka Mtuze serve as part time members of the Information Regulator. All these roles will be effective from 1 December 2016.
Some parties contested Tlakula’s appointment, as in 2014 she was taken to court by political parties under claims that her integrity within the IEC had been compromised. At the time, the public protector and National Treasury found there was maladministration in the procurement of the electoral body’s Riverside Office Park building in Centurion Pretoria, with the process not being fair, transparent or cost effective.
The constitutional court dismissed Tlakula’s bid to challenge an electoral court ruling that she be investigated for misconduct by Parliament with the view to remove her from office. She argued during her interviews by members of Parliament that she was never found guilty of misconduct.
With the Information Regulator in office, we anticipate that the commencement date for the operative provisions of POPI will be announced after the members of by early next year. Notably, however, the provisions of POPI regulating processing of personal information remain subject to a grace period of at least one year.