Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA Manual)

1 INTRODUCTION
This manual is compiled in accordance with section 51 of the of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (act no 2 of 2000) (“the act”) and in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act No 108 of 1996, to enable and facilitate Requests for access to a Record held by a private body that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights. The reference to any information in addition to that specifically required in terms of section 51 of the act does not create any right or entitlement (contractual or otherwise) to receive such information, other than in terms of the act.

1.1 The Promotion of Access to Information Act, No 2 of 2000 (“the Act”) was enacted on 3 February 2000, giving effect to the constitutional 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. Where a request is made in terms of the Act, the body to whom the request is made is obliged to release the information, except where the Act expressly provides that the information may or must not be released. The Act sets out the requisite procedural issues attached to such request.

1.2 PURPOSE OF THE MANUAL:
To promote effective governance of private bodies, it is necessary to ensure that everyone is empowered and educated to understand their rights in terms of the Act in order for them to exercise their rights in relation to public and private bodies.
Section 9 of the Act however recognises that such right to access to information cannot be unlimited and should be 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 that right with any other rights, including such rights contained in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.