All things Staff members of VUT need to know about POPI ACT explained
By Qhawekazi Memani – 05 November 2021
On Wednesday, 27 October 2021, Mr. Frans Fouche; Director of Legal Services at the Vaal University of Technology (VUT), an admitted attorney of the High Court, with more than 31 years of legal and teaching experience, held a webinar on Zoom where he presented and explained what VUT staff need to know about the POPI Act and how it relates to staff members’ job descriptions.
Opening the floor for the presentation and discussion, Mr Fouche said: “POPIA compliance is not achieved through memos, infographics and questionnaires alone. It is achieved one conversation at a time. “
VUT is an institution that works with confidential data of students, staff and parents. Mr. Fouche highlighted that VUT, like any other institution, needs to comply with the conditions of POPIA. People often enquire about a POPIA policy, the truth of the matter is that POPIA is not contained in one single document but rather in a framework consisting of various policies and processes. The POPIA cannot be fully implemented without considering the Promotion of Access to Information Act which allows a data subject access to his/her personal information. VUT’s PAIA manual was shared with the VUT Community via e communication.
One of the many crucial questions raised was how the Act will affect research. Mr. Fouche assured attendees that a follow-up presentation will be conducted, aimed at the effect of POPIA on research.
In closing, to keep the discussion alive, staff members were challenged to read through the Act; identify aspects of interests that appeal directly to them, their jobs, family life, business, environment etc. and to download one of UCISA’s toolkits and do the assessment; draft own risk plan and implement it; to have discussions with colleagues, line managers and supervisors.
The legal department is committed to assist staff with their POPIA challenges. Staff members are urged to send any questions they may have to Mr Fouche or Ms Kim Mahloko.