Retention Guide is an online, hosted database outlining the mandatory record retention and destruction requirements found in statute and regulations applicable to organisations in South Africa.

The Retention Guide is updated regularly to reflect all the legislative changes that impact on records retention. In this regard we review on average more than 2000 new regulatory instruments annually.
Only product of its kind in SA
Motivation for using Law Exlorer as your provider of services in respect of Records and Information Management
  1. Regulatory Record Retention Requirements Products: As at the end of 2004, no comprehensive guidelines existed, outlining record retention provisions prescribed by statutory law. Our members were involved in a project commissioned by various prominent organisations1 in the banking and insurance industry to audit all applicable law in respect of financial services and to create a database of the prescribed regulatory records retention requirements in South Africa. Our members accordingly developed a database of statutory record retention requirements in the form of a Record Retention Regulatory Compliance Guide (the “Retention Guide”). The Retention Guide is intended for use by organisations as a basis from which to compile their Record Retention Schedules (“Retention Schedules”). We developed and regularly maintain all the content and Modules in the Retention Guide which took 9 months to complete. The Retention Guide is provided via an online platform with a wide range of functionality supporting its main purpose.

    1 Absa, First Rand, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Investec, Sanlam and Old Mutual.

  2. Records Related Services and Implementation Programmes: Since the creation of the Retention Guide we have been involved in ground breaking work in respect of the legal issues surrounding records and information management and implementation projects.2 We are also frequently engaged in similar projects with other clients to assist them with preparation of their record retention policies and retention schedules.

    2 These include among other: Anglo Platinum, Xstrata, AngloGold Ashanti, Absa, Standard Bank, First Rand, Nedbank, Investec, the Legal Aid Board, the Agricultural Research Council, Massmart, Deloitte (Brussels and South Africa), Armscor, the National Archives and Records Service, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Office of the Precedent of South Africa.

  3. Local Standards on Records and Document Management: We serve on the South African Bureau of Standards’ records management and information governance technical committees (TC 46, SC 46D and TC 171).

  4. International Standards on Records and Document Management: We are involved in the drafting of standards in the area of records management and document management solutions at ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) level and have represented South Africa as experts in this field in the USA, China, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, Kenya, the UK and Germany. We have contributed to various international standards on records management, document management, work process analysis for records management, digitisation, conversion and migration, metadata and have also been involved in standards that support the legal admissibility and evidential weight of electronic documents. Dewald Opperman is convenor of records focussed workgroups on both National and ISO level in respect of the identification, collection and/or acquisition and preservation of digital evidence. He is also the official liaison of ISO TC46/SC11 to JTC1/SC 27, which deals with the security aspects of the identification, collection and/or acquisition and preservation of digital evidence.

  5. Records Legal Issues Training: We have provided a wide variety of in house and external training in regard to the legal issues regarding records and information management to South African private and public sector bodies. Among these was a training session on the legal issues related to records management for the Eastern Cape Provincial Archive. We have also been involved in the training of SADC regional records managers and policy makers as part of an extended international project sponsored by the Swedish National Archive called “Records Management in Service of Democracy”.

  6. ITC Law Experts: We were members of the team responsible for drafting the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (the “ECT Act”) and as a result we believe we are well suited to advise on alternative storage formats such as imaging and microfilming. We have also been involved in the e-enabling of various other areas in South Africa and one of our Directors, Wim Mostert has served as chairman of the Minister of Finance’s Advisory Committee for E-financial Services.

1 September 2013
  ISO TC46 SC11 is currently reviewing ISO 15489. The resultant new standard is expected to be quite different from the current ISO 15489
8 August 2013
  The following standards were adopted in South Africa as part of the new management system standard for records:
  • SANS 30300: Information and documentation - Management systems for records - Fundamentals and vocabulary
  • SANS 30301: Information and documentation - Management systems for records - Requirements