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'Restaurants also at fault for providing employee info demanded by EFF'

19 January 2022 8:39 PM
Tags:
EFF
Xenophobia
The Money Show
Mall of Africa
Bruce Whitfield
POPI Act
POPIA
Werksmans Attorneys
Ahmore Burger-Smidt

Bruce Whitfield interviews expert Ahmore Burger-Smidt from Werksmans Attorneys after the EFF's 'employee checks'.
EFF leader Julius Malema leaves a Mall of Africa restaurant in Midrand during his visit on 19 January 2022. Picture: EFF/Twitter

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) hit the headlines on Wednesday when they arrived at Midrand restaurants to "check" the employment ratio between South Africans and foreign nationals.

Bruce Whitfield describes the scenes that ensued as "ridiculous showmanship".

RELATED: Kream restaurant at Mall of Africa employs enough South Africans - EFF

The worst part was owners handing over information demanded by a political party! I would assume that the Department of Labour might be within its rights to go and check the employment status of workers; Home Affairs even... but a political party! It's thuggish, it's threatening and probably thoroughly illegal as well.

Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show host

Bruce Whitfield interviews Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Head of of Data Privacy Practice and Cybercrime Practice at Werksmans Attorneys.

Does the action of the EFF mean that anyone can go into a workplace and demand a list of employees and their citizenship status?

Burger-Smidt's answer is 'an unequivocal no'.

If we just consider this from a data privacy angle or the Protection of Personal Information [Popi) Act, Popia clearly provides for the privacy of information of individuals - so the employees at these restaurants...

Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Head of of Data Privacy Practice - Werksmans Attorneys

... but then also... for juristic entities, so the restaurant itself... They are entitled to the protection of their personal information...

Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Head of of Data Privacy Practice - Werksmans Attorneys

To be frank, employee records or a list of employees and the details of those employees constitute the private information of the restaurant!

Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Head of of Data Privacy Practice - Werksmans Attorneys

No-one can just come around and claim access to this information, she emphasizes.

Burger-Smidt says that, technically, the restaurants were also in breach of the Popi Act if they released the info to an unauthorised person.

The Popi Act requires that you safeguard the information and that you can only disclose it under certain circumstances, so you can't just make the information available to whoever walks through your door... You have to bring a Paia request...

Ahmore Burger-Smidt, Head of of Data Privacy Practice - Werksmans Attorneys

She says that in this case, the affected employees are entitled to lodge a complaint with the Information Regulator.

Listen to the audio clip below for more detail:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Restaurants also at fault for providing employee info demanded by EFF'




19 January 2022 8:39 PM
Tags:
EFF
Xenophobia
The Money Show
Mall of Africa
Bruce Whitfield
POPI Act
POPIA
Werksmans Attorneys
Ahmore Burger-Smidt

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