Eric Swanepoel is a senior records officer at the department Records, Archives and Museum.

eish! asked Eric Swanepoel, senior records officer from the department Records, Archives and Museum, what the POPIA legislation is and how it will affect staff, students and other stakeholders at the NWU.


Q: What is the POPIA legislation?

A: The legislation is aimed at providing the minimum standards for the processing of personal information. It aims to protect the right to privacy of all NWU students, staff, service providers, and other stakeholders of the NWU.


Q: When did the legislation come into effect?

A: The legislation came into effect partially in 2014, and the rest of the legislation came into full effect on 1 July 2020.


Q: What processes will the NWU undergo to ensure it complies?

A: Various offices are currently working on a project to ensure compliance. During this project, the following will be done:


  • A high-level privacy impact assessment will be conducted to assess the risks related to personal information and to address these risks.
  • A Privacy Policy will be implemented.
  • A sustainable POPIA programme will be developed for the NWU. This will include rules, guidelines, processes and procedures relating to the collection, storage, processing and destruction of personal information of all stakeholders.
  • An incident response plan will be implemented and an incident response team will guide the process of managing and reporting incidents as contemplated in the legislation.
  • Training and awareness programmes for all staff members will be developed.


Q: Are there any consequences for not complying with the Act?

A: Businesses that don't comply with the POPIA can face severe penalties. The Act makes provision for fines of up to R10 million and, in severe cases, even imprisonment of up to 10 years. So in the event of uncertainty regarding the POPIA, staff members can seek assistance and support by emailing


Q: Where can staff get more information?

A: We encourage staff members to visit this website where information regarding the Act will be posted regularly.




If you have ever fallen victim to identity theft or had your private information used without your permission, you will be happy to know that the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), which aims to protect the public from these crimes, recently came into full effect.