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News: The POPI Act may have some serious negative effects on small businesses

by , 14 October 2015
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, which was signed into law on 27th November 2013, and whose effective date is yet to be determined, is intended to protect personal information and, in so doing, enable South African companies to do business overseas in accordance with global data laws - which will in turn have a very positive spin-off effect.

But, according to some experts, it looks like there may also be some negative side effects as a result of the POPI Act.

According to the Chairman of the Direct Marketing Association of Southern Africa, Warren Moss, the POPI Act will have a severely negative effect on small businesses throughout the country, in that small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs) will have to spend many thousands of rands to comply with the new Act.


POPI Guide for HR Managers:

Simple steps to comply with the POPI Act

The POPI Act is a nightmare to read! It's 75 pages long with lots of legal terms and information to decipher.

But we have simplified it for you by selecting especially what is relevant to you as the HR manager.
The POPI Guide for HR Managers outlines:
·        What the POPI Act is all about;
·        How it affects you as the HR manager;
·        The impact it has on your business;
·        What you need to do to start complying NOW; and
·        Much more!
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According to Wayne Mann, group director for risk at The Unlimited: "Their (SMEs) only option will be to pass the cost of compliance onto their customers which may compromise the affordability of their products or services and, ultimately, the sustainability of their businesses.'

It's also been stated that the POPI Act will affect small businesses that rely on electronic marketing. In other words, POPI will outlaw electronic marketing unless people within their databases have 'opted in' to it.

Mike Schussler, an economist, said that POPI would have a negative effect on employment within small businesses which rely on direct marketing strategies.

He said that "very often young people are working in this industry as a way to find their feet and we need to recognise the value of that."

Overall, it appears there will be much more discussion and debate to come over the POPI Act with regard to its overall impact on the country.  

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