What is the Act all about?

Promotion of Access to Information Act 2000

Section 32 of the Constitution deals with the right of access to information and provides that everyone has the right of access to any information held by the State, and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.

The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2000 gives effect to section 32 of the new Constitution subject to justifiable limitations, including but not limited to, limitations aimed at the reasonable protection of privacy, commercial confidentiality and effective, efficient and good governance and in a manner which balances the right of access to information with any other rights including the rights in the Bill of Rights in Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

The Act establishes voluntary and mandatory mechanisms or procedures to give effect to that right in a manner which enables persons to obtain access to records of public and private bodies as swiftly, inexpensively and effortlessly as reasonable possible. The Act also promotes transparency, accountability and effective governance of all public and private bodies by empowering and educating everyone to understand their rights in terms of the Act, to understand the functions and operation of public bodies and to effectively scrutinise, and participate in, decision-making by public bodies that affects their rights.

Sections 10, 14, 16 and 51 came into effect on 15 February 2002.

In terms of the Act all businesses must produce and file a Manual in order to comply with the provisions of Section 51 of the Act. This section requires every business to compile a Manual, to have it available for inspection and to file a copy with the South African Human Rights Commission.

This website is intended as an aid to those private bodies that are now required to produce and publish such a manual . . .

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