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Possible Changes to South African Drinking and Cape Town Smoking Legislation

Cape Town’s buildings could soon be 100% smoke free

The City of Cape Town continues its campaign to address the country’s tobacco use and are working with the Bloomberg Partnership for Healthy Cities to promote a 100% smoke-free environment for all. This works in conjunction with the new National Tobacco Bill that may soon be instated, which aims to  effectively outlaw smoking in any public spaces.

The bill also includes amendments around stricter rules on where one is allowed to smoke; the inclusion of e-cigarettes under tobacco products; enforcement of plain packaging; the banning of tobacco products advertising at tills; and eliminating cigarette vending machines.

“The City of Cape Town was selected for Phase II of the Bloomberg Partnership for Healthy Cities. For this phase the City has elected to focus on Tobacco use and second hand smoke as the new National Tobacco Bill will be promulgated soon. The City of Cape Town wants to set an example for all residents in promoting a smoke free lifestyle and workplace,” said the Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien in a statement.

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies. It is a global network of 70 cities where mayors have committed to prevent NCDs – including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease through proven interventions. The second phase of the Partnership launched in 2019.

City Health has integrated the Partnership for Healthy Cities opportunity into the larger Healthy Lifestyle Programme. In Phase I, City Health focused on reducing sugary drink consumption among the urban population.

“In Phase II, we are using similar tactics to create a smoke-free city. According to the South Africa Demographic and Health Survey, 25% of women and 42,9% of men in the Western Cape smoke daily. The goal is to create a smoke-free city through stakeholder engagement, education campaigns and review of internal City policy. The City of Cape Town will aim for as many of its buildings as possible to be compliant with the new workplace smoking policy post intervention,” said Councillor Badroodien.

Cigarette smoking is linked to the onset of all four of the most common non-communicable diseases: cancer, heart and lung disease, and diabetes. In addition to the high costs of treating diseases caused by its use, tobacco often kills people at the peak of their wage-earning capacity. This deprives families of their breadwinners, robs nations of a healthy and productive workforce, and contributes to the cycle of poverty that exists in many countries. It threatens global development.

City Health, together with multiple internal and external partners, has developed a three pronged approach to address tobacco use:

1. Policy Changes:
City Health and Human Resources, together with the policy unit, have updated the City’s smoking in the workplace policy. This new document is a framework which aims to discourage smoking, as well as protect non-smokers, while environmental Health will also play a role in monitoring compliance to this framework.

2. Increased enforcement of Tobacco Legislation:
Environmental Health, and other City departments, have ramped up enforcement of tobacco legislation within the City. Gaps in law enforcement were identified and roles and responsibilities are being defined. During the festive season activations were held at road blocks and beaches to educate the citizens on the harms of tobacco use.

3. Media Campaign:
City Health is creating a tobacco awareness campaign, which is both internally and externally focused. The aims of the campaign are to advertise that the City is going smoke free and to educate the community about the harms of second hand smoke.

‘Recent events have forced many people to stub out the habit, but many more are struggling to give up cigarettes as evidenced by the exorbitant prices they were willing to pay for cigarettes. We realise it’s not easy, but the City is doing as much as it can to assist employees and residents to stop smoking,’ added Councillor Badroodien.

Cape Town, South Africa

Liquor Amendment Bill could change SA legal drinking age

To increase efforts in better managing the country’s alcohol-related issues, the Democratic Alliance is pushing for government to pass the Liquor Amendment Bill which will change South Africa’s drinking laws significantly.

This particular bill has been stuck in cabinet for a number of years and many, including DA’s Dean Macpherson, feel the bill has the potential to better regulate alcohol in South Africa and reduce the damage caused by excessive consumption.

According to the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), a serious multi-structural plan is needed to pull South Africa out of its alcohol problems. Citing data from 2015, the council showed that up to 282 adults die as a result of alcohol consumption per day in South Africa, between 27 000 and 103 000 people a year.

The country is also ranked as one of the worst in the world for drunk driving. SA’s road traffic fatality rate is more than 33 per 100,000 population, this is almost double the global average. Research also shows that drunk driving accounts for 27.1% of fatal crashes in SA each year.

If instated, the bill will:

-Push the legal drinking age to 21

-Introduce a new 100-metre radius trading limitation around educational and religious institutions

-Ban the advertisement of alcohol on social and small media

-Introduce a new liability clause of booze-sellers

Mbalula says no one should be getting behind the wheel of a car with any alcohol in their system as the Road Traffic Amendment Bill was introduced in parliament in June 2020, which effectively introduced a 0% alcohol limit for all motorists.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act In Effect From Today

South African organisations now have one year to comply with the long-awaited Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act (POPIA).

This after the Presidency recently announced the commencement of certain sections of the 2013 data privacy law.

The Act, which gives effect to section 14 of the Constitution, provides that everyone has the right to privacy.

Since 2013, the Act has been put into operation incrementally, with a number of sections of the Act having been implemented in April 2014.

The sections that will commence on 1 July 2020 are:

  • Sections 2-38 dealing with exclusions and the conditions for lawful processing of personal information;
  • Sections 55-109 dealing with the responsibilities of information officers, direct marketing (unsolicited electronic communications), relevant Codes of Conduct and enforcement mechanisms (offences, penalties and administrative fines); and
  • Section 114(1), (2) and (3) which deals with transitional arrangements.

The sections that will commence on 30 June 2021 are:

Sections 110 and 114(4), which deal with the amendment of laws and the transfer of functions from the South African Human Rights Commission to the Information Regulator regarding the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

Responsible conduct

Francis Cronje, an information governance specialist and contributor to the POPI Act, comments: “What all of the above entails is that the Act as a whole will commence on the 1st of July 2020, apart from those sections that have already commenced, and those that will commence on the 30th of June 2021.”

The purpose of the law is to ensure all South African institutions conduct themselves in a responsible manner when collecting, processing, storing and sharing another entity’s personal information by holding them accountable should they abuse or compromise personal information in any way.

Businesses that don’t comply with the POPI Act, regardless of whether it’s intentional or accidental, can face severe penalties.

The Act makes provision for fines of up to R10 million and a jail sentence of up to 10 years, depending on the seriousness of the breach.

Cronje explains that Section 114(1) states that all processing of personal information must within one year after the commencement of this section be made to conform to this Act.

“In essence, from the 1st of July 2020, organisations will have 12 months, or one year, to comply with the conditions for the lawful processing of personal information. No more delays, no more excuses, no more hiding,” he says.

Organisations, public and private, big and small, and anyone processing personal information, will have to align their processing activities to the Act, Cronje notes.

“Whether such processing involves personal information of your employees, prospective employees, part-time workers, contractors, clients, members, consumers, customers or third-parties or anybody else whose personal information you collect, use, share, retain, store, archive, delete or destroy – you, as a processing entity, will have to ensure that you, or anybody that processes personal information on your behalf, complies with the Act.”

Rights of data subjects

Pria Chetty, director at law firm EndCode, points out that up until 22 June 2020, limited sections in the POPI Act were in force.

She notes these were aimed at enabling the Information Regulator to set up operations and for regulations to be issued.

“The announcement from the Presidency confirms that the critical sections of POPIA will now take effect. These are substantive sections that create rights, duties, obligations, procedures and penalties.”

According to Chetty, the rights of data subjects to personal data protection safeguards finally have legal force, bringing South Africa closer to harmonisation with international and continental instruments on privacy and data protection.

“Of further significance, particularly in the context of digital innovation and advances in healthtech and edtech, is the regulation of the processing of special personal information – that will balance the need for access to information with the need to protect sensitive health and children’s information.”

She says organisations will need to address with intent now the provisions regulating the responsibilities of information officers, sectoral Codes of Conduct and provisions regulating direct marketing.

“The regulator will be pleased to see the procedures for dealing with complaints, and other enforcement mechanisms taking effect,” says Chetty.

“Ultimately, it marks the entry of non-negotiable obligations and duties for organisations regarding information privacy practices.”

Chetty believes compliance with the substantive provisions of the POPI Act will be a significant effort for many South African organisations, some of which have been preparing for the law’s enactment for years.

“Taking account of the ways in which digital technologies have altered every element of our work and society at large, embedding information privacy practices at all levels of the organisation is what is needed,” she says.

Strict deadline

Livia Dyer, partner at Bowmans, says the Information Regulator was established to implement and enforce POPIA, and its powers include the ability to levy administrative fines (of up to R10 million).

“POPIA provides for a transitional period of one year,” she notes. “This means that both private businesses and organisations and public bodies that process personal information must, at this stage, ensure they comply with POPIA by 1 July 2021.”

According to Dyer, the transitional period can be extended by a further three years for specific classes of information and certain data controllers (referred to as “responsible parties” in the Act), but there is no guarantee that an extension will be given.

“A year may seem like long time, but business leaders need to initiate the compliance process as soon as possible because, in many cases, compliance will require the implementation of fundamental changes to their organisations,” says Louella Tindale, data protection specialist at Caveat Legal.

Meanwhile, Rohan Isaacs and Tatum Govender from Herbert Smith Freehills SA, say consumers will benefit from POPI’s requirements that their personal information must be protected and that it can only be collected or handled where there is a lawful justification for doing so.

“POPI gives consumers specific rights in respect of organisations handling their personal information and it gives consumers greater control over their personal information. Consumers are informed about what personal information is collected, by who and why so that consumers are able to make informed decisions,” they conclude.

To find out more about the POPI Act, click here.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].