Access to Information Act

Access to Information Act and Protection of Personal Information

 

Access to Information Act (2 of 2000)

 

The NWU complies with the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000.  Therefor an information manual has been published.

All persons wanting to make application for access to records held by the NWU may do so by clicking on the following request form and completing the online application.
PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU COMPLETE ALL THE FIELDS.

The NWU Records Management Policy as well as the NWU file plan and disposal schedule (available on request from the Records Manager) provide an indication of the records the NWU keeps and the manner in which they are managed (record name, reference number, retention period and disposal instruction). 

Please note that not all records listed in the NWU file plan and disposal schedule will not necessarily be made available on demand, seeing that certain records are fully or partially confidential and the internal disposal procedures followed by the NWU.

 

Internal staff

Please take note that Management Information, Student Administrative Systems, Information Technology, Protection Services, etc will no longer receive and handle any requests for data extraction/reports without the completion of the PAIA form if the data concerned can be classified as personal information.

 

Protection of Personal Information Act (4 of 2013)

 

In simple terms, die purpose of the Act is to ensure that all South African institutions conduct themselves in a responsible manner when collecting, processing, storing and sharing another entity's personal information by holding them accountable should they abuse or compromise your personal information in any way. 

The Act considers personal information as extremely valuable and therefor bestows on an individual, as owner of the personal information, certain rights of protection and the ability to exercise control over:

  • when and how you choose to share your information (requires consent);
  • the type and extent of information you choose to share;
  • transparency and accountability on how your information will be used;
  • providing you with access to your own information as well as the right to have your information destroyed;
  • who has access to your information
  • how and where your information is stored; and
  • the integrity and continued accuracy of your information.

 

What is personal information?

Personal information is any information relating to a living person, and where applicable, an existing juristic person.  It may include the following:

  • ID/passport number
  • Birth information
  • Contact details (including online/instant messaging identifiers)
  • Gender, race and ethnic origin
  • Photos, voice recordings, video footage, biometric data
  • Marital/relationship status and family relations
  • Criminal record
  • Private correspondence
  • Religious and philosophical beliefs including personal and political opinions
  • Employment history
  • Financial information
  • Educational information (academic record)
  • Physical and mental health information
  • Membership to organisations/unions.

 

We have to accept that we now live in an information age and along with this progress comes the responsibility for each individual to take care of and protect their own information.  To protect the individual's right to privacy and guard against abuse of information, data protection legislation has become necessary and therefor the Protection of Personal Information Act was enacted.  The NWU aims to ensure that all processes and procedures are in place to ensure that personal information is managed in an effective and correct manner as prescribed by the Act in order to ensure good corporate governance.

The unlawful disclosure of personal information to external parties exposes the NWU to legal risks and is a level B infringement of the Disciplinary Procedure as contained in the Behavioural Manual of the NWU (which, in serious circumstances, could lead to dismissal).  The NWU thus views this infringement in a very serious light.

 

The Act however cannot protect the individual if the individual does not take care to protect themselves.  Individuals must be informed about their rights, and when asked to exercise a choice in terms of the Act, make an informed decision.

Please also read the infographic for more information.

 

Individuals can enquire about their personal information kept by the NWU by completing the POPI enquiry form.

 

For more information on how the NWU complies with PAIA and POPI, please contact:

Amanda van der Merwe

Director:  Corporate and Information Governance Services

018 299 4942

10935746@nwu.ac.za

 

2016-03-30