President of South Africa HE. Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed four Members of the Information Regulator (Regulator) to begin a new term with effect from 1 December 2021. The Members will serve for a five-year term as full time and part time Members at the Regulator. The Members are; Adv Pansy Tlakula (Chairperson), Adv Lebogang Stroom-Nzama (full-time Member) Adv Collen Weapond (full-time Member) who will all be serving a second term. They will be joined by new appointee Mr Mfana Gwala  as a part-time Member. They start their new term alongside current part-time Member Ms Alison Tilley, who was appointed in December 2020.

Mr Mfana Gwala joins the Regulator with more than 10 years’ experience in public administration matters, employment and labour, constitutional litigation, procurement disputes, commercial litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. He has also served as an Executive Member of the Law Society.

The call for nominations of Members of the Regulator came in less than a month after the Regulator took over the functions in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) 2000, and the coming into effect of enforcement powers in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) 2013. This transition has been a major milestone for the Members since the establishment of the Regulator.


Reflections from the past five years

On December 2016 the Members of the Regulator entered the offices of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development at Salu Building in Pretoria and started day one of their work with nothing more than the copies of POPIA and PAIA. It was evident that there was a great task at hand to ensure that there is protection of personal information and effective access to information for every member of the public. During their five-year term Members of the Regulator managed to build a strong administration, by successfully filling all the Executive positions and establishing an administration which is led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mosalanyane Mosala. What started as a team of five in 2016, has now grown to a team of 84 staff members. In addition, the Regulator undertook numerous robust stakeholder engagement sessions, engaging with responsible parties monthly, to assist with interpretation of the provisions of the two laws. The Members were instrumental in the development of guidance notes which provided much needed guidance to responsible parties, to equip them in being POPIA and PAIA compliant.


Professor Tana Pistorius and Professor Sizwe Snail ka Mtuze

Professor Pistorius and Professor Snail ka Mtuze served as part-time members in the inaugural term and played an integral role and were instrumental in the establishment of the Regulator. Prof Pistorius served for four years before her resignation in September 2020 following the relocation of her family. Prof Snail ka Mtuze served the full term and did not make himself available for reappointment. Adv Tlakula expressed her sincere gratitude to their contribution to the institution and lauded their expertise in Cyber and ICT laws which made a significant contribution to the work of the Regulator. “As Members of the Regulator we are honoured to be entrusted by parliament with the responsibility of ensuring the protection of rights of members of the public in so far as these rights relate to access to information and protection of their personal information. We are grateful for the stellar contribution of our former colleagues, Prof Pistorius and Prof Snail ka Mtuze. As we continue our work given to us by the representatives of the people of South Africa, we shall build on the solid foundation that these two former colleagues helped to build,” said Adv Tlakula.


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