Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town branch of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public, Conveyancer and Insolvency Practitioner with many years of experience in the fields of property law, conveyancing and the laws relating to corporate compliance (especially in respect of the FICA and POPIA laws). Up until 2018 she was also head of the firm’s national marketing portfolio. She is a seasoned public speaker and presenter, both in person and online. She prepares text for the majority of STBB’s internal and external publications and is editor and co-writer for two pivotal publications in the South African real estate industry – the ABC of Conveyancing (JUTA) and Delport’s South African Property Law and Practice (JUTA).

Thought of the Week | Body corporate trustees and home owners associations: Get informed advice on POPIA

For your body corporate trustees or homeowners association directors.

1 July has come and gone and there has been no invasion by officials from the Information Regulator’s Office knocking down the doors of businesses with the aim of issuing fines of millions of rands.

Does this mean there is no Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA)? Definitely not. POPIA is in force and, looking at the many businesses that have reviewed their way of doing things to ensure the best protection of the data that they keep, POPIA has had a good start.

Is that all there is to it then? Yes and no. In essence, the Act merely requires organisations and businesses to be accountable for the personal data of others that they process. A simple task on the face of it. However, when one looks deeper into it, it requires a lot of thinking, planning and patience to achieve and maintain compliance with POPIA.

Specifically, trustees of sectional title body corporates and directors of home owners’ associations may find compliance challenging, as they often have a small(er) role to play in the daily management of schemes (and the related processing of data), this function often left to a managing agent. As the law reads now, the trustees or directors may not simply stand back and must obtain assurance that the managing agent will always deal with their respective organisations’ data reliably, as required in POPIA.

Trustees and directors have been targeted by a lot of hyped media about the consequences of not having lists of policies and (often superfluous) consents filed away. Our answer: Relax, and get proper guidance on how to most effectively comply with POPIA.

Let STBB assist your residential, commercial or mixed-use scheme to engage with POPIA sensibly, as the Act requires. Remember, there is no “I am done” tick box here. POPIA requires of organisations to adapt from time to time, to respond to real risks that may emerge relating to unauthorized access to data, improper use of data or to data compromises.

Contact STBB for sound assistance.

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