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Promotion of Access to Information Act

PROMOTION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION ACT 2 OF 2000

[ASSENTED TO 2 FEBRUARY 2000] [DATE OF COMMENCEMENT TO BE PROCLAIMED]

(English text signed by the President.)

ACT
To give 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; and to provide fo r matters connected therewith.
Preamble.
RECOGNISING THAT
• the system of government in South Africa before 27 April 1994, amongst others, resulted in a
secretive and unresponsive culture in public and priv ate bodies which often led to an abuse of power
and human rights violations;
• section 8 of the Constitution provides for the horizontal application of the rights in the Bill of Rights
to juristic persons to the extent required by the na ture of the rights and the nature of those juristic
persons;
• section 32 ( I) (a) of the Constitution provides that ever yone has the right of access to any
information held by the State;
• section 32 (I) (b) of the Constitution provides for the horizo ntal application of the right of access to
information held by another person to everyone when that information is required for the exercise or
protection of any rights;
• and national legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right in section 32 of the Constitution;
AND BEARING IN MIND THAT-
• the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil, at least, all the rights in the Bill of Rights which
is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa;
• the right of access to any information held by a public or private body may be limited to the extent
that the limitations are reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human
dignity, equality and freedom as contemplated in section 36 of the Constitution;
• reasonable legislative measures may, in terms of section 32 (2) of the Constitution, be provided to
alleviate the administrative and financial burden on the State in giving effect to its obligation to
promote and fulfil the right of access to information;
AND IN ORDER To-
• foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public and private bodies by giving effect to
the right of access to information;
• actively promote a society in which the people of South Africa have effective

access to information to enable them to more fully exercise and protect all of their rights,
BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, as, follows:-
CONTENTS OF ACT
Section
PART I

INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS
CHAPTER I
DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATION
I. Definitions
2. Interpretation of Act
CHAPTER 2
GENERAL APPLICATION PROVISIONS
3. Act applies to record whenever it came into existence
4. Records held by official or independant contractor of public or private body
5. Application of other legislation prohibiting or restricting disclosure
6. Application of other legislation providing for access
7. Act not applying to records required for criminal or civil proceedings after commencement of
proceedings
8. Part applicable when performing functions as public or private body
CHAPTER 3
GENERAL INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS
9. Objects of Act
10. Guide on how to use Act

PART 2

ACCESS TO RECORDS OF PUBLIC BODIES
CHAPTER I
RIGHT OF ACCESS, AND SPECIFIC APPLICATION PROVISIONS
11. Right of access to records of public bodies
12. Act not applying to certain public bodies or officials thereof
13. Body determined to be part of another public body

CHAPTER 2
PUBLICATION AND AVAILABILITY OF CERTAIN RECORDS

14. Manual on functions of, and index of records held by, public body
15. Voluntary disclosure and automatic availability of certain records
16. Information in telephone directory
CHAPTER 3
MANNER OF ACCESS

17. Designation of deputy information officers, and delegation.
18. Form of requests
19. Duty to assist requesters
20. Transfer of requests
21. Preservation of records until final decision on request
22. Fees
23. Records that cannot be found or do not exist
24. Deferral of access
25. Decision on request and notice thereof
26. Extension of period to deal with request
27. Deemed refusal of request
28. Severability
29. Access and forms of access
30. Access to health or other records
31. Language of access
32. Reports to Human Rights Commission
CHAPTER 4
GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF ACCESS TO RECORDS
33. Interpretation
34. Mandatory protection of privacy of third party who is natural person
35. Mandatory protection of certain records of South African Revenue Service
36. Mandatory protection of commercial information of third party
37. Mandatory protection of certain confidential information, and protection of certain other confidential
information, of third party
38. Mandatory protection of safety of i ndividuals, and protection of property
39. Mandatory protection of police dockets in bail proceedings, and protection of law
enforcement and legal proceedings
40. Mandatory protection of records priv ileged from production in legal proceedings
41. Defence, security and international relations of Republic
42. Economic interests and financia l welfare of Republic and commercial activities of public bodies
43. Mandatory protection of research information of third party, and protection of research information of public
body
44. Operations of public bodies
45. Manifestly frivolous or vexatious requests, or substantial and unreasonable diversion of resources
46. Mandatory disclosure in public interest

CHAPTER 5
THIRD PARTY NOTIFICATION AND INTERVENTION
47. Notice to third parties
48. Representations and consent by third parties
49. Decision on representations for refusal and notice thereof
PART 3
ACCESS TO RECORDS OF PRIVATE BODIES CHAPTER I RIGHT OF ACCESS
50. Right of access to records of private bodies
CHAPTER 2
PUBLICATION AND AVAILABILITY OF CERTAIN RECORDS
51. Manual
52. Voluntary disclosure and automatic availability of certain records
CHAPTER 3
MANNER OF ACCESS

53. Form of request
54. Fees
55. Records that cannot be found or do not exist
56. Decision on request and notice thereof
57. Extension of period to deal with request
58. Deemed refusal of request
59. Severability
60. Form of access
61. Access to health or other records
CHAPTER 4
GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF ACCESS TO RECORDS
62. Interpretation
63. Mandatory protection of privacy of third party who is natural person
64. Mandatory protection of commercial information of third party
65. Mandatory protection of certain confidential information of third party
66. Mandatory protection of safety of individuals, and protection of property
67. Mandatory protection of records priv ileged from production in legal proceedings
68. Commercial information of private body
69. Mandatory protection of research information of third party, and protection of research information of private
body
70. Mandatory disclosure in public interest
CHAPTER 5
THIRD PARTY NOTIFICATION AND INTERVENTION

71. Notice to third parties
72. Representations and consent by third parties
73. Decision on representations for refusal and notice thereof
PART 4
APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS
CHAPTER I
INTERNAL APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS OF INFORMATION OFFICERS OF CERTAIN PUBLIC
BODIES

74. Right of internal appe al to relevant authority
75. Manner of internal appeal, and appeal fees
76. Notice to and representations by other interested parties
77. Decision on internal appeal and notice thereof
CHAPTER 2
APPLICATIONS TO COURT
78. Applications regarding decisions of information officers or relevant authorities of public bodies or heads of
private bodies
79. Procedure
80. Disclosure of records to, and non-disclosure by, court
81. Proceedings are civil
82. Decision on application
PART 5
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
83. Additional functions of Human Rights Commission
84. Report to National Assembly by Human Rights Commission
85. Expenditure of Human Rights Commission in terms of Act
PART 6
TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
86. Application of other legislation providing for access
87. Extended periods for dealing with requests during first two years
88. Correction of personal information

PART 7

GENERAL PROVISIONS

89. Liability
90. Offences
91. Amendment of Public Protector Act 23 of 1994
92. Regulations

93. Short title and commencement

SCHEDULE

PART 1
INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS (ss 1-10)

CHAPTER 1
DEFINITIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS (ss 1-2)

1 Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise indicates-

‘access fee’ means a fee prescribed for the purposes of section 22 (6) or 54 (6), as the case may be:

‘application’ means an application to a court in terms of section 78;

‘Constitution’ means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 1088 of 1996);

‘court’ means-

(a) the Constitutional Court acti ng in terms of section 167 (6) (a) of the Constitution; or
(b) (i) a High Court or another court of similar status, or
(ii) a Magistrate’s Court, either generally or in respect of a specified class of decisions in terms of this
Act, designated by the Minister, by notice in the Gazette, and presided over by a magistrate
designated in writing by the Minister, after consul tation with the Magistrates Commission, within
whose area of jurisdiction-
(aa) the decision of the information officer or relevant authority of a public body or the head of a private
body has been taken;

(bb) the public body or private body co ncerned has its principal place of administration or business; or
(cc) the requester or third party concerned is domiciled or ordinarily resident;
‘evaluative material’ means an evaluation or opinion prepared for the purpose of determining –
(a) the suitability, eligibility or qualifications of the person to whom or which the evaluation or opinion
relates-
(i) for employment or for appointment to office;
(ii) for promotion in employment or office or for continuance in employment or office;
(iii) for removal from employment or office; or

(iv) for the awarding of a scholarship, award, bursary , honour or similar benefit: or
(b) whether any scholarship. award. Bursary, honour or similar benefit should be continued. modified,
cancelled or renewed;
‘head’ of or in relation to a private body means-
(a) in the case of a natural person, that natural person or any person duly authorised by that natural
person;

(b) in the case of a partnership, any partner of the partnership or any person duly authorised by the
partnership;
(c) in the case of a juristic person-
(i) the chief executive officer or equivalent officer of the juristic person or any, person duly
authorised by that officer; or
(ii) the person who is acting as such or any person duly authorised by such acting person;

‘health practitioner’ means an individual who carries on, and is registered in terms of legislation to carry
on, an occupation which involves the provision of care or treatment for the physical or mental health or for
the well-being of individuals; ‘Human Rights Commission’ means the South African Human Rights
Commission referred to in section 181 (I) (b) of the Constitution;
‘individual’s next of kin’ means-
(a an individual to whom the individual was married immediately before the individual’s death;
(b) an individual with whom the individual lived as if they were married immediately before the
individual’s death;
(c) a parent, child, brother or sister of the individual; or
(d) if
(i) there is no next of kin referred to in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c); or
(ii) the requester concerned took all reasonable steps to locate such next of
kin, but was unsuccessful, an individual who is related to the individual in the second
degree of affinity or consanguinity;
‘information officer’ of, or in relation to, a public body-
(a) in the case of a national department, provincial administration or organisational component-
(i) mentioned in Column 1 of Schedule l or 3 to the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation
l03 of 1994 ), means the officer who is the incumbent of the post bearing the designation
mentioned in Column 2 of the said Schedule l or 3 opposite the name of the relevant
national department, provincial administration or organisational component or the person
who is acting as such; or
(ii) not so mentioned, means the Director-General, head, executive director or equivalent officer, respectively, of that national de partment, provincial administration or
organisational component, respectively;
(b) in the case of a municipality, means the municipal manager appointed in terms of section 82 of the
Local Government: Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act 117 of 1998), or the person who is acting
as such; or

(c) in the case of any other public body, means the chief executive officer, or equivalent officer, of that
public body or the person who is acting as such;

‘internal appeal’ means an internal appeal to the rele vant authority in terms of section 74;

‘international organisation ’ means an international organisation-

(a) of states; or

(b) established by the governments of states;

‘Minister means the Cabinet member responsible for the administration of justice;

‘notice’ means notice in writing and ‘notify’ and ‘notified’ have corresponding meanings;

‘objects of this Act’ means the objects of this Act referred to in section 9;

‘official’, in relation to a public or private body, means-

(a) any person in the employ (permanently or temporarily and full-time or
part-time) of the public or private body. as the case may be, including the head of the body, in his or
her capacity as such; or
(b) a member of the public or private body , in his or her capacity as such;
‘person’ means a natural person or a juristic person;
‘personal information’ means information about an identifiable individual, including,
but not limited to-

(a) information relating to the race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, national, ethnic or social
origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental health,well-being, disability, religion,
conscience, belief, culture, language and birth of the individual;

(b) information relating to the education or the medical, criminal or employment history of the
individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been
involved;

(c) any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual;

(d) the address, fingerprints or blood type of the individual;

(e) the personal opinions, views or preferences of the individual, except where they are about another
individual or about a proposal for a grant, an award or a prize to be made to another individual;

(f) correspondence sent by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential
nature or further correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence;
(g) the views or opinions of another individual about the individual;
(h) the views or opinions of another individual about a proposal for a grant, an award or a prize to be
made to the individual, but excluding the name of the other individual where it appears with the
views or opinions of the other individual; and

(i) the name of the individual where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual
or where the disclosure of the name itself would reveal information about the individual,
but excludes information about an individual who has been dead for more than 20 years;

‘personal requester’ means a reque5ter seeking access to a record containing personal information about
the requester;

‘prescribed’ means prescribed by regulation in terms of section 92;

‘private body’ means-

(a) a natural person who carries or has carried on any trade, business or profession, but only in such
capacity;

(b) a partnership which carries or has carried on any trade, business or profession; or

(c) any former or existing juristic person, but excludes a public body;

‘public safety or environmental risk’ means harm or risk to the environment or the public (including
individuals in their wor kplace) associated with-

(a) a product or service which is available to the public;

(b) a substance released into the environment, in cluding, but not limited to, the workplace;

(c) a substance intended for human or animal consumption;

(d) a means of public transport; or

(e) an installation or manufacturing process or substance which is used in that
installation or process;

‘public body’ means-

( a) any department of state or administration in the national or provincial sphere
of government or any municipality in the local sphere of government; or

(b) any other functionary or institution when-

(i) exercising a power or performing a duty in terms of the Constitution or a
provincial constitution; or

(ii) exercising a public power or performing a public function in terms of any legislation;

‘record of, or in relation to, a public or private body, means any recorded information-

(a) regardless of form or medium;
.
(b in the possession or under the control of that public or private body, respectively; and

(c) whether or not it was created by that pu blic or private body, respectively;

‘relevant authority’, in relation to-

(a) a public body referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of ‘public body’ in
the national sphere of government, means-

(i) in the case of the Office of the Presidency, the person designated in writing by the President; or

(ii) in any other case, the Minister responsible for th at public body or the person designated in writing
by that Minister;

(b) a public body referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of ‘public body’ in the provincial sphere
of government, means-

(i) in the case of the Office of a Premier, the person designated in writing by the Premier; or

(ii) in any other case, the member of the Executive Council responsible for that public body or the person designated in writing by that member; or

(c) a municipality , means-

(i) the mayor;

(ii) the speaker; or

(iii) any other person, designated in v.Titing by the Municipal Council of that municipality;

‘request for access’ , in relation to-

(a) a public body, means a request for access to a record of a public body in terms of section II: or

(b) a private body, means a request for access to a record of a private body in terms of section 50;

‘requester’. in relation to-

(a) a public body, means-

(i) any person (other than a public body contemplated in paragraph (a) or (b) (i) of the definition of
‘public body’, or an official thereof) making a request for access to a record of that public body; or

(ii) a person acting on behalf of the person referred to in subparagraph (i);

(b) a private body, means-

(i) any person. including but not limited to, a public body or an official thereof, making a request for
access to a record of that private body; or

(ii) a person acting on behalf of the person contemplated in subparagraph (i);

‘subversive or hostile activities’ means-

(a) aggression against the Republic;

(b) sabotage or terrorism aimed at the people of th e Republic or a strategic asset of the Republic,
whether inside or outside the Republic;

(c) an activity aimed at changing the constitutional order of the Republic by the use of force or violence;
or

(d) a foreign or hostile intelligence operation;

‘third party’, in relation to a request for access to-

(a) a record of a public body, means any person (including, but not limited to, the government of a
foreign state, an international organisation or an organ of that government or organisation) other
than-

(i) the requester concerned; and

(ii) a public body; or

(b) a record of a private body, means any person (including, but not limited to, a public body) other than
the requester, but, for the purposes of sections 34 and 63, the reference to ‘person’ in paragraphs (a)
and (b) must be construed as a refere nce to ’natural person’;

‘this Act’ includes any regulation made and in force in terms of section 92;

‘transfer’ , in relation to a record, means transfer in terms of section 20 (1) or (2), and ‘transferred’ has a
corresponding meaning;

‘working days’ means any days other than Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays, as defined in section 1
of the Public Holidays Act, 1994 (Act 36 of 1994).

2 Interpretation of Act

(1) When interpreting a provision of this Act, every co urt must prefer any reasonable interpretation of the
provision that is consistent with the objects of this Act over any alternative interpretation that is
inconsistent with those objects.

(2) Section 12 must not be construed as excluding-

(a) the Cabinet and its committees; or

(b) an individual member of Parliament or of a provincial legislature,

from the operation of the definition of ‘requester’ in relation to a private body in section I, section 49 and
all other provisions of this Act related thereto.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the South Africa n Revenue Service, established by section 2 of the
South African Revenue Service Act, 1997 (Act 34 of 1997), and referred to in section 35 (1), is a
public body.

CHAPTER 2
GENERAL APPLICATION PROVISIONS (ss 3-8)

3 Act applies to record whenev er it came into existence

This Act applies to-

(a) a record of a public body; and

(b) a record of a private body, regardless of when the record came into existence.

4 Records held by official or independant contractor of public or private body

For the purposes of this Act, but subject to section 12, a record in the possession or under the control of-

(a) an official of a public body or private body in his or her capacity as such; or

(b) an in dependant contractor engaged by a public body or private body in the capacity as such
contractor, is regarded as being a record of that public body or private body, respectively.

5 Application of other legislation pr ohibiting or restricting disclosure

This Act applies to the exclusion of any provision of other legislation that-

(a prohibits or restricts the disclosure of a reco rd of a public body or private body; and

(b) is materially inconsistent with an object , or a specific provision, of this Act.

6 Application of other legislation providing for access

Nothing in this Act prevents the giving of access to-

(a) a record of a public body in terms of any legislation referred to in Part 1 of the Schedule; or

(b) a record of a private body in terms of any legislation referred to in Part 2 of the Schedule.

7 Act not applying to records required for crim inal or civil proceedings after commencement of
proceedings

(I) This Act does not apply to a record of a public body or a private body if-

(a) that record is requested for the purpos e of criminal or civil proceedings;

(b) so requested after the commencement of such criminal or civil proceedings, as the case may be; and

(c) the production of or access to that record for the purpose referred to in paragraph ( a) is provided for
in any other law.

(2) Any record obtained in a manner that contravenes subsection (I) is not admissible as evidence in the
criminal or civil proceedings referre d to in that subsection unless the exclusion of such record by the
court in question would, in its opinion, be detrimental to the interests of justice.

8 Part applicable when performing functions as public or private body

(I) For the purposes of this Act. a p ublic body referred to in paragraph (b) (ii) of the definition of
‘public body’ in section I or a private body-

(a) may be either a public body or a private body in relation to a record of that body; and

(b) may in one instance be a public body and in another instance be a private body depending on
whether that record relates to the exercise of a power or performance or a function as a public body
or as a private body.

(2) A request for access to a record held for the purpos e or with regard to the exercise of a power or the
performance of a function-

(a) as a public body must be made in terms of section II; or

(b) as a private body, must be made in terms of section 50.

(3) The provisions of Parts 1,2,4,5,6 and 7 apply to a request fo r access to a record that relates to a
power or function exercised or performed as a public body.

(4) The provisions of Part s 1,3,4,5,6 and 7 apply to a request fo r access to a record that relates to a
power or function exercised or performed as a private body.

CHAPTER 3
GENERAL INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS (ss 9-10)

9 Objects of Act

The objects of this Act are-

(a) to give effect to the constitutional right of access to-

(i) any information held by the State; and

(ii) any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of
any rights;

(b) to give effect to that right-

(i) 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

(ii) in a manner which balances that right with any other rights, including the rights in the Bill of Rights in Chapter 2 of the Constitution;

(c) to give effect to the constitutional obligations of the State of promoting a human rights culture and
social justice, by including pub lic bodies in the definition of ‘r equester’, allowing them, amongst
others, to access information from private bodies upon compliance with the four requirements in this
Act, including an additional obligation for certain public bodies in certain instances to act in the
public interest;

(d) to establish 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 reasonably possible; and

(e) generally, to promote transparency, accountability a nd effective governance of all public and private
bodies by, including, but not limited to, empowering and educating everyone-

(i) to understand their rights in terms of this Act in order to exercise their rights in relation to public and private bodies;

(ii) to understand the functions and operation of public bodies; and
(iii) to effectively scrutinise, and participate in, decision-making by public bodies that affects their rights.

10 Guide on how to use Act
(1) The Human Rights Commission must, within 18 months after the commencement of this section,
compile in each official language a guide containing such information, in an easily comprehensible form
and manner, as may reasonably be required by a person who wishes to exercise any right contemplated in
this Act.

(2) The guide must, without limiting the generality of subsection (1), include a description of-
(a) the objects of this Act;
(b) the postal and street address, phone and fax numbe r and, if available, electronic mail address of-
(i) the information officer of every public body, and
(ii) every deputy information officer of every public body appointed in terms of
section 17 ( I );
(c) such particulars of every priv ate body as are practicable:
(d) the manner and form of a request for-
(i) access to a record of a public body contemplated in section 11; and
(ii) access to a record of a private body contemplated in section 50;
(e) the assistance available from the informatio n officer of a public body in terms
of this Act;
(f) the assistance available from the Human Rights Commission in terms of this Act;
(g) all remedies in law available regarding an act or failu re to act in respect of a right or duty conferred or
imposed by this Act, including the manner of lodging-

(i) an internal appeal; and

(ii) an application with a court against a decision by the information officer of a public body,
a decision on internal app eal or a decision of the head of a private body;
(h) the provisions of sections 14 and 51 requiring a public body and private body, respectively, to
compile a manual, and how to obtain access to a manual;
(i) the provisions of sections 15 and 52 providing for the voluntary disclosure of categories of records
by a public body and priv ate body, respectively;
(j) the notices issued in terms of sections 22 and 54 regarding fees to be paid in , relation to requests for
access; and
(k) the regulations made in terms of section 92.

(3) The Human Rights Commission must, if necessary, update and publish the guide at – intervals of not
more than two years.

(4) The guide must be made available as prescribed.

PART 2

ACCESS TO RECORDS OF PUBLIC BODIES (ss 11-49)

CHAPTER I

RIGHT OF ACCESS, AND SPECIFIC APPLICATION PROVISIONS (ss11-13)
11 Right of access to records of public bodies

(1) A requester must be given access to a record of a public body if-

(a) that requester complies with all the procedural requirements in this Act
relating to a request for access to that record; and

(b) access so that record is not refused in terms of any ground for refu sal contemplated in
Chapter 4 of this Part.

(2) A request contemplated in subsection ( 1) in cludes a request for access to a record containing
personal information about the requester.

(3) A requester’s right of access contemplated in subsec tion (I) is, subject to this Act, not affected by-

(a) any reasons the requester gives for requesting access; or

(b) the information officer’s belief as to what the requester’s reasons are for requesting
access.

12 Act not applying to certain public bodies or officials thereof

This Act does not apply to a record of-
(a) the Cabinet and its committees;
(b) the judicial functions of-
(i) a court referred to in section 166 of the Constitution;
(ii) a Special Tribunal established in terms of section 2 of the Special
Investigating Units and Special Trib unals Act, 1996 (Act 74 of 1996); or

(iii) a judicial officer of such court or Special Tribunal; or

(c) an individual member of Parliament or of a provincial legislature in that capacity.
13 Body determined to be part of another public body
For the purpose of this Act, the Minister may, on his or her own accord or on the request
of the relevant public body or bodies or a body referred to in paragraph (c), in the prescribed manner and by
notice in the Gazette-

(a) determine that a public body is to be regarded as part of another public body;

(b) determine that a category of public bodies is to be regarded as one public body with such
information officer as the Minister designates; and

(c) if there is doubt as to whether a body is a separate public body or forms part of a public body,
determine that the body-

(i) is a separate public body; or

(ii) forms part of a public body,

CHAPTER 2

PUBLICATION AND AVAILABILITY OF CERTAIN RECORDS (ss 14-16)

14 Manual on functions of, and index of records held by, public body

(1) Within six months after the commencement of this section or the coming into
existence of a public body, the information officer of the public bo dy concerned must compile in at least
three official languages a manual containing-

(a a description of its structure and functions;

(b) the postal and street ad dress, phone and fax number and, if available,
electronic mail address of the information officer of the body and of every
deputy information officer of the body appointed in terms of section 17 (1);

(c) a description of the guide referred to in section 10, if available, and how to obtain access to it;

(d) sufficient detail to facilitate a request for access to a record of the body, a description of the subjects
on which the body holds records and the cat egories of records held on each subject;

(e) the latest notice, in terms of section 15 (2), if any, regarding the categories of records of the body
which are available without a person having to request access in terms of this Act;

(f) a description of the services available to memb ers of the public from the body and how to gain
access to those services;

(g) a description of any arrangement or provision for a person (other than a public body referred to in
paragraph (a) or (b) (i) of the definition of ‘public body’ in section 1) by consultation, making
representations or otherwise, to participate in or influence-

(i) the formulation of policy; or

(ii) the exercise of powers or performance of duties, by the body;

(h) a description of all remedies available in re spect of an act or a failure to act by
the body; and

(i) such other information as may be prescribed.

(2) A public body must, if necessary , update and publish its manual referred to in
subsection (1) at intervals of not more than one year .

(3) Each manual must be made available as prescribed.

(4) (a) If the functions of two or more public bodies ar e closely connected, the Minister may on request
or of his or her own accord determine that th e two or more bodies compile one manual only.

(b) The public bodies in question must share the cost of the compilation and making available of
such manual as the Minister determines
.

(5) For security, administrative or financial reasons, the Minister may, on request or of
his or her own accord by notice in the Gazette, exempt any public body or category of public bodies
from any provision of this section for such period as the Minister thinks fit,

15 Voluntary disclosure and automati c availability of certain records

(I) The information officer of a public body referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) (i) of the definition of
‘public body’ in section 1, must , on a periodic basis not less frequently once each year, submit to
the Minister a description of-

(a) the categories of records of the public body that are automatically available
without a person having to request access in te rms of this Act, including such categories
available-

(i) for inspection in terms of legislation other than this Act;

(ii) for purchase or copying from the body; and

(iii) from the body, free of charge; and

(b) how to obtain access to such records,

(2) On a periodic basis, not less frequently than once each year and at the cost of the relevant public body,
the Minister must, by notice in the Gazette-

(a) publish every, description submitte d in terms of subsection (I);or

(b) update every, description so published, as the case may be,

(3) The only fee, payable (if any) for access to a record included in a notice in terms of
subsection (2) is a prescribed fee for reproduction.

(4) The information officer of a public body may delete an y part of a record contemplated in subsection ( 1)

(a) which, on a request for access, may or must be refused in terms of Chapter 4 of this Part,

(5) Section 11 and any other provisions in this Act related to that section do not apply to
any category of records in cluded in a notice in terms of subsection (2).

16 Information in telephone directory

The Director-General of the national department responsible for government communications and
information services must at that de partment’s cost ensure the publicatio n of the postal and street address,
phone and fax number and, if available, electronic ma il address of the information officer of every public
body in every telephone directory issued for general use by the public as are prescribed.
CHAPTER 3
MANNER OF ACCESS (ss 17-32)

17 Designation of deputy inform ation officers, and delegation

(1) For the purposes of this Act, each public body must, subject to legislation governing

the employment of personnel of the public body concerned, designate such number of persons
as deputy information officers as are necessary to render the public body as accessible as reasonably
possible for requesters of its records.
(2) The information officer of a public body has direction and control over every deputy information officer
of that body.
(3) The information officer of a public body may delegate a power or duty conferred or
imposed on that information officer by this Act to a deputy information officer of that public body.
(4) In deciding whether to delegate a power or duty in terms of subsection (3), the
information officer must give due consideration to th e need to render the public body as accessible as
reasonably possible for requesters of its records.
(5) Any power or duty delegated in terms of subsection (3) must be exercised or
performed subject to such conditions as the person who made the delegation considers necessary.

(5) Any delegation in terms of subsection (3 )-

(a) must be in writing;

(b) does not prohibit the person who made the delegation from exercising the
power concerned or performing the duty concerned himself or herself; and

(c) may at any time be withdrawn or amended in writing by that person.

(7) Any right or privilege acquired, or any obligation or liability incurred, as a result of a decision in terms
of a delegation in terms of subsection (3) is not affected by any subsequent withdrawal or amendment of
that decision.
18 Form of requests
(1) A request for access must be made in the prescribed form to the information officer of the public body
concerned at his or her address or fax number or electronic mail address.
(2) The form for a request of access prescribed for the purposes of subsection (I) must at least require the
requester concerned-
(a) to provide sufficient particulars to enable an of ficial of the public body concerned to identify-
(i) the record or records requested; and
(ii) the requester;
(b) to indicate which applicable form of access refe rred to in section 29 (2) is required;

(c) to state whether the record concerned is preferred in a particular language;

(d) to specify a postal address or fax numb er of the requester in the Republic;

(e) if, in addition to a written reply, th e requester wishes to be informed of the decision on the request
in any other manner, to state that manner and the necessary particulars to be so informed; and

(f) if the request is made on behalf of a person, to su bmit proof of the capacity in which the requester is
making the request, to the reasonable satisfaction of the information officer .

(3) (a) An individual who because of illiteracy or a disability is unable to make a request for access to a
record of a public body in accordance with s ubsection (I), may make that request orally.

(b) The information officer of that body must reduce that oral request to writing in the prescribed form and
provide a copy thereo f to the requester.

19 Duty to assist requesters

(1) If a requester informs the information officer of –

(a) a public body that he or she wishes to make a request for access to a record of that public body; or

(b) a public body (other than a public body referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) (I) of the definition of
‘public body’ in section 1) that he or she wishes to make a request for access to a record of another
public body, the information officer must render su ch reasonable assistance, free of charge, as if
necessary to enable that requester to comply with section 18 (1).

(2) If a requester has made a request for access that does not comply with section 18 (1), the information
officer concerned may not refuse the request because of that non-compliance unless the information officer
has-

(a) notified that requester of an intention to refuse the request and stated in the notice –

(i) the reasons for the contemplated refusal; and

(ii) that the information officer or another offi cial identified by the information officer would
assist that requester in order to make the re quest in a form that would remove the grounds
for refusal;
(b) given the requester a reasonable opp ortunity to seek such assistance;

(c) as far as reasonably possible, furnished the requester with any information (including information
about the records, other than info rmation on the basis of which a request for access may or must be
refused in terms of any provision of Chapter 4 of this Part held by the body which are relevant to the
request) that would assist the making of the request in that form; and

(d) given the requester a reasonable opportunity to co nfirm the request or alter it to comply with section
18 (1).

(3) When computing any period referred to in section 25 (1), the period commencing on the date on which
notice is given in terms of subsection (2) and ending on the date on which the person confirms of alters the
request for access concerned must be disregarded.

(4) If it is apparent on receipt of a request for acce ss that it should have been made to another public
body, the information officer of the public body concerned must –

(a) render such assistance as it necessary to enable the person to make the request, to the information
officer of the appropriate public body; or

(b) transfer the request in accordance with section 20 to the last-mentioned information officer,
whichever will result in the request being dealt with earlier.

20 Transfer of requests

(I) If a request for access is made to the information officer of a public body in respect of which-

(a) the record is not in the possession or under the c ontrol of that body but is in the possession of
another public body;

(b) the record’s subject matter is more closely connected with the functions of another public body than
those of the public body of the information officer to whom the request is made; or

(c) the record contains commercial information contemplated in section 42 in which any other public
body has a greater commercial inte rest, the information officer to whom the request is made must as
soon as reasonably possible, but in any event w ithin 14 days after the request is received-

(i) transfer the request to the information officer of the other public body or, if there is in the
case of paragraph (c) more than one other public body having a commercial interest, the
other public body with the greatest commercial interest; and

(ii) if the public body of the information offi cer to whom the request is made is in possession
of the record and considers it helpful to do so to enable the information officer of the
other public body to deal with the request, send the record or a copy of the record to that
information officer .

(2) If a request for access is made to the information officer of a public body in respect of which-

(a) the record is not in the possession or under the control of the public body of that information officer
and the information officer does not know which public body has possession or control of the
record;

(b) the record’s subject matter is not closely connected to the functions of the public body of that
information officer and the information officer doe s not know whether the record is more closely
connected with the functions of another public body than those of the public body of the information
officer to whom the request is made; and

(c) the record-

(i) was created by or for another public body; or

(ii) was not so created by or for an y public body, but was received first by
another public body,

the information officer to whom the request is made, must as soon as reasonably possible, but in any
event within 14 days after the request is received, transfer the request to the information officer of
the public body by or for which the re cord was created or which received it first, as the case may be.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the information officer to whom a request for access is transferred, must give
priority to that request in relation to other requests as if it were-received by him or her on the date it was
received by the information officer who transferred the request.

(4) If a request for access is transferred, any period referr ed to in section 25 ( 1) must be computed from the
date the request is received by the information officer to whom the request is transferred.

(5) Upon the transfer of a request for access, the information officer maki ng the transfer must immediately
notify the requester of-

(a) the transfer;
(b) the reasons for the transfer; and
(c) the period within which the request must be dealt with.

21 Preservation of records until final decision on request

If the information officer of a public body has received a request for access to a record of
the body, that information officer must take the steps that are reasonably necessary to
preserve the record, without deleting any information contained in it, until the information officer has
notified the requester concerned of his or her decision in terms of section 25 and-

(a) the periods for lodging an internal appeal, an appli cation with a court or an appeal against a decision
of that court have expired; or

(b) that internal appeal application or appeal against a decision of that court or other legal proceedings
in connection with the request has been finally determined, whichever is the later.

22 Fees

(1) The information officer of a public body to whom a request for access is made, must by notice
require the requester, other than a personal requester, to pay the prescribed request fee (if any),
before further processing the request.

(2) If-

(a) the search for a record of a public body in respect of which a request for access by a requester,
other than a personal requester, has been made; and

(b} the preparation of the record for disclosure (including any arrangements contemplated in section
29 (2) (a) and (b) (i) and (ii) (a) would, in the opinion of the information officer of the body,
require more than the hours prescribed for this purpose for requester s, the information officer must
by notice require the requester, other than a personal requester, to pay as a deposit the prescribed
portion (being not more than one third) of the access fee which woul d be payable if the request is
granted.

(3) The notice referred to in subsection (1) or (2) must state-

(a) the amount of the deposit payable in terms of subsection (2), if applicable;

(b) that the requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a court,
as the case may be against the tender or paymen t of the request fee in terms of subsection
(1) or the tender or payment of a deposit in terms of subsection (2), as the case may be;
and

(c) the procedure (including the period) for lodging the internal appeal or
application, as the case may be

(4) If a deposit has been paid in respect of a requ est for access which is refused the information officer
concerned must repay the deposit to the requester.

(5) The information officer of a public body must withhold a record until the requester concerned has paid the applicable fees (if any).

(6) A requester whose request for access to a record of a public body has been granted must pay an
access fee for reproduction and fo r search and preparation contemplated in subsection (7) (a) and
(b), respectively, for any time reasonably required in excess of the prescribed hours to search for

and prepare (including making any arrangements contemplated in section 29 (2) (a) and (b) (i) and
(ii) (a) the record for disclosure.

(7) Access fees prescribed for the purposes of s ubsection (6) must provide for a reasonable access fee
for-

(a) the cost of making a copy of a record, or of a transcription of the content of a record, as
contemplated in section 29 (2) (a) and (b) (i), (ii) (b), (iii) and (v) and, if applicable, the
postal fee; and

(b) the time reasonably required to search for the record and prepare (including making any
arrangements contemplated in section 29 (2) (a) and (b) (i) and (ii) (aa)) the record for
disclosure to the requester.

(7) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette-

(a) exempt any person or category of persons from paying any fee referred to in this section;

(b) determine that any fee referred to in this section is not to exceed a certain maximum
amount;

(c) determine the manner in which any fee referred to in this section is to be calculated; .

(d) determine that any fee referred to in this s ection does not apply to a category of records;

(e) exempt any person or record or category of persons or records for a stipulated period
from any fee referred to in subsection (6); and

(f) determine that where the cost of collecting any fee referred to in this section exceeds the
amount charged, such fee does not apply.

23. Records that cannot be found or do not exist

(I) If-

(a) all reasonable steps have been taken to find a record requested; and

(b) there are reasonable grounds fo r believing that the record-
(i) is in the public body’s possession but cannot be found; or

(ii) does not exist, the information officer of a public body must, by way of
affidavit or affirmation, notify the requester that it is not possible to give access
to that record.

(2) The affidavit or affirmation referred to in subsection (1) must give a full account of
all steps taken to find the record in question or to determine whether the record exists, as the case
may be, including all communications with every person who conducted the search on behalf of
the information officer.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the notice in terms of subsection (1) is to be regarded as a decision to
refuse a request for access to the record.

(4) If, after notice is given in terms of subsection (1), the record in question is found, the requester concerned must be given access to the record unless access is refused on a ground for refusal
contemplated in Chapter 4 of this Part.

24 Deferral of access

(1) If the information officer of a public body decides to grant a request for access to a record, but that
record-

(a) is to be published within 90 days after the recei pt or transfer of the request or such further
period as is reasonably necessary for printing and translating the record for the purpose of
publishing it;

(b) is required by law to be published but is yet to be published; or

(b) has been prepared for submission to any legislature or a particular person but is yet to be
submitted, the information officer may defer giving access to the record for a reasonable
period.

(2) If access to a record is deferred in terms of subs ection (1), the information officer must notify the
requester concerned-

(a) that the requester may, within 30 days after that notice is given, make representations to
the information officer why the record is required before such publication or submission;
and
(b) if the likely period for which access is to be deferred.

(3) If a requester makes representations in terms of subsection (2) (a), the information
officer must, after due consideration of those re presentations, grant the request for access only if
there are reasonable grounds for believing th at the requester will suffer substantial
prejudice if access to the record is deferred for the likely period referred to in subsection (2) (b).

25 Decision on request and notice thereof

(1) The information officer to whom a request for access is made or transferred, must, subject to
section 26 and Chapter 5 of this Part, as soon as reasonably possible, but in any
event within 30 days, after the request is received-

(a) decide in accordance with this Act whether to grant the request; and

(b) notify the requester of the decision and, if the requester stated, as contemplated in section
18 (2) (e), that he or she wishes to be informed of the decision in any other manner,
inform him or her in that manner if it is reasonably possible.

(2) If the request for access is granted, the notice in terms of subsection (I) (b) must
state-
(a) the access fee (if any) to be paid upon access;

(b) the form in which access will be given: and

(c) that the requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a court,
as the case may be, against the access fee to be paid or the form of access granted, and the
procedure (including the period) for lodging the internal appeal or application, as the case
may be.

(3) If the request for access is refused, the notice in terms of subsection (I) (b) must-

(a) state adequate reasons for the refusal, including the provisions of this Act relied upon:

(b) exclude from such reasons, any referenc e to the content of the record; and

(c) state that the requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a court as the
case may be against the refusal of the reques t, and the procedure (including the period)
for lodging the internal appeal or application, as the case may be.

26 Extension of period to deal with request

(1) The information officer to whom a request for access has been made or transferred,
may extend the period of 30 days referred to in section 25 (1) (in this section referred to as the
‘original period’) once for a period of not more than 30 days, if-

(a) the request is for a large number of records or requires a search through a large number of
records and compliance with the original pe riod would unreasonably interfere with the
activities of the public body concerned;

(b) the request requires a sear ch for records in, or collection thereof from, an
office of the public body not situated in th e same town or city as the office of the
information officer that cannot reasonably be completed within the original period;

(c) consultation among divisions of the public body or with another public body is necessary
or desirable to decide upon the request that cannot reasonably be completed within the
original period;

(d) more than one of the circumstan ces contemplated in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) exist in
respect of the request making compliance w ith the original period not reasonably
possible; or

(e) the requester consents in writing to such extension.

(2) If a period is extended in terms of subsection (1), the information officer must, as
soon as reasonably possible, but in any event w ithin 30 days, after the request is received or
transferred, notify the reques ter of that extension.

(3) The notice in terms of subsection (2) must state-

(a) the period of the extension;
(b) adequate reasons for the extension, including the provisions of this Act relied upon; and
(c) that the requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a court, as the case
may be against the extension, and the procedure (including the period) for lodging the
internal appeal or applica tion, as the case may be.

27 Deemed refusal of request

If an information officer fails to give the d ecision on a request for access to the requester
concerned within the period contemplated in sec tion 25 ( I ), the information officer is, for the
purposes of this Act, regarded as having refused the request.

28 Severability

(I) If a request for access is made to a record of a public body containing information
which may or must be refused in terms of any provision of Chapter 4 of this Part, every part of the
record which-

(a) does not contain; and

(b) can reasonably be severed from any part that contains, any such information must, despite
any other provision of this Act, be disclosed.

(2) If a request for access to-
(a) a part of a record is granted; and
(b) the other part of the record is refused, as contemplated in subsection (1), the
provisions of section 25 (2), apply to paragraph (a) of this section and the provisions of
section 25 (3) to paragraph (b ) of this section.

29 Access and forms of access

(1) If a requester has been given notice in terms of section 25 (1) that his or her request for access has
been granted, that requester must, subject to subsections (3) and (9) and section 31-

(a) if an access fee is payable, upon payment of that fee; or
(b) if no access fee is payable, immediately, be given access in the applicable forms referred
to in subsection (2) as the requester indi cated in the request, and in the language
contemplated in section 31.

(2) The forms of access to a record in respect of which a request of access has been granted, are the
following:

(a) If the record is in written on printed form, by supplying a copy of the record or by making
arrangements for the inspection of the record;
(b) if the record is not in written or printed form-

(i) in the case of a record from which visual images or printed transcriptions of
those images are capable of being reproduced by means of equipment which is
ordinarily available to the public body concerned, by making arrangements to
view those images or be supplied with copies or transcriptions of them;

(ii) in the case of a record in which words or information are recorded in such
manner that they are capable of being reproduced in the form of sound by
equipment which is ordinarily available to the public body concerned-

(aa) by making arrangements to hear those sounds; or
(bb) if the public body is capable of producing a written or printed
transcription of those sounds by the use of equipment which is
ordinarily available to it, by supplying such a transcription;

(iii) in the case of a record which is held on computer, or in electronic or machine-
readable form, and from which the public body concerned is capable of
producing a printed copy of-

(a) the record, or a part of it; or

(b) information derived from the record, by using computer equipment and
expertise ordinarily available to the public body, by supplying such a
copy;

(iv) in the case of a record available or capable of being made available in computer
readable form, by supplying a copy in that form; or

(v) in any other case by supplying a copy of the record.

(4) If a requester has requested access in a particular form, access must, subject to section 28 be given
in that form unless to do so would-

(a) interfere unreasonably with the effective administration of the public body concerned;

(b) be detrimental to the preservation of the record; or

(c) amount to an infringement of copyright not owned by the State of the public body
concerned

(5) If a requester has requested access in a particular form and for a reason referred to in –
subsection (3) access in that form is refused but access is given in another form, the fee charged
may not exceed what would have been charged if that requester had been given access in the form
requested.

(6) If a requester with a disability is prevented by that disability from reading, viewing listening to the record concerned in the form in which it is held by the public body concerned, –
the information officer of the body must, if that requester so requests, take reasonable steps to
make the record available in a form in which it is capable of being read, viewed or heard by the
requester.

(7) If a record is made available in accordance with subsection (5), the requester may not be required
to pay an access fee which is more than the fee wh ich he or she would have been – required to pay
but for the disability.

(8) If a record is made available in terms of this section to a requester for inspection, viewing or
hearing, the requester may make copies of or transcribe the record using the requester’s equipment,
unless to do so would-
(a) interfere unreasonably with the effective administration of the public body concerned;
(b) be detrimental to the preservation of the record; or
(c) amount to an infringement of copyright not owned by the State or the public body
concerned.
(9) If the supply to a requester of a copy of a record is required by this section, the copy ( must, if so
requested, be supplied by posting it to him or her .

(10) If an internal appeal or an application to a court, as the case may be, is lodged against the granting of a request for access to a record, access to the record may be given only when the decision to
grant the request is finally confirmed.

30 Access to health or other records

( I) If the information officer who grants, in terms of section II, a request for access to a
record provided by a health practitioner in his or her capacity as such about the physical or mental
health, or well-being-

(a) of the requester; or

(b) if the request has been made on behalf of the person to whom the record relates,
of that person,

(in this section, the requester and person referred to paragraphs (a) and (b), respectively, are referred to as
the ‘relevant person’), is of the opinion that the disclosure of the record to the relevant person might cause
serious harm to his or her physical or mental health, or well-being, the information officer may, before
giving access in terms of section 29, consult with a health practitioner who, subject to subsection (2), has
been nominated by the relevant person.

(2) If the relevant person is-

(a) under the age of 16 years, a person having parental responsibilities for the
relevant person must make the nomination contemplated in subsection (I); or

(b) incapable of managing his or her affairs, a person appointed by the court to
manage those affairs must make that nomination.

(3)(a) If, after being given access to the record concerned, the health practitioner
consulted in terms of subsection ( I) is of the opinion that the disclosure of the record to the
relevant person would be likely to cause serious harm to his or her physical or mental health, or well-being,
the information officer may only give acces s to the record if the requester
proves to the satisfaction of the information officer th at adequate provision is made for such counselling or
arrangements as are reasonably practicable before, during or after the disclosure of the record to limit,
alleviate or avoid such harm to the relevant person.

(b) Before access to the record is so given to th e requester, the person responsible for such
counselling or arrangements must be given access to the record.

31 Language of access

A requester whose request for access to a record of a pu blic body has been granted must, if the record-

(a) exists in the language that the requester prefers, be given access in that language; or

(b) does not exist in the language so preferred or the requester has no preference
or has not indicated a preference, be given access in any language the record exists in.

32 Reports to Human Rights Commission

The information officer of each public body must annually submit to the Human Rights commission a
report stating in relations to the public body-

(a) the number of requests for access received;

(b) the number of requests for access granted in full;

(c) the number of requests for access granted in terms of section 46;

(d) the number of requests for access refused in full and refused partially and the
number of times each provision of this Act was relied on to refuse access in full or partial;

(e) the number of cases in which the periods stipulated in section 25 (I) were extended in terms of
section 26 (I);
(g) the number of internal appeals lodged with the relevant authority and the
number of cases in which, as a result of an in ternal appeal, access was given to a record;
(12) the number of internal appeals which were lodged on the ground that a request for access was
regarded as having been refused in terms of section 27;

(i) the number of applications to a court which were lodged on the ground that an internal appeal was
regarded as having been dismissed in terms of section 77 (7); and

j) such other matters as may be prescribed.

CHAPTER 4
GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF ACCESS TO RECORDS (ss 33-46)

33 Interpretation

(I) The information officer of a public body-

(a) must refuse, a request for access to a record cont emplated in section 34 (1),35
(1).36 ( I ).37 ( I) (a). 38 (a) 39 (I) (a), 40 or 43 (1);or

(b) may refuse a request for access to a record contemplated in section 37 (1) (b), 38 (b). 39
(I) (b). 41 ( I) (a) or (b), 42 (I} or (3),43 (2),44 (I) or (2) or 45, unless the provisions of
section 46 apply.

(2) A provision of this Chapter in terms of which a request for access to a record must or may or may not be refused, may not be construed as-

(a) limited in its application in any way by any other provision of this Chapter in terms of
which a request for access to a record must or may or may not be refused: and

(b) not applying to a particular record by reason that another provision of this
Chapter in terms of which a request for access to a record must or may or may not be
refused also applies to that record.

34 Mandatory protection of privacy of third party who is natural person

(I) Subject to subsection (2) the information officer of a public body must refuse a request
for access to a record of the body if its disclosure would involve the unr easonable disclosure of personal
information about a third party, including a deceased individual.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) insofar as it consists of information-

(a) about an individual who has consented in terms of section 48 or otherwise in – writing to its
disclosure to the requester concerned;

(b) that was given to the public body by the individual to whom it relates and the individual was
informed by or on behalf of the public body, before it is given, that the information belongs to a
class of information that would or might be made available to the public;

(c) already publicly available;

(d) about an individual’s physical or mental health, or well-being, who is under the care of the
requester and who is-

(i) under the age of 18 years; or

(ii) incapable of understanding the nature of the request, and if giving access would be in the
individual’s best interests;

(e) about an individual who is deceased and the requester is-

(i) the individual’s next of kin; or

(ii) making the request with the written consent of the individual’s next of kin; or

(f) about an individual who is or was an official of a public body and which relates to the position or
functions of the individual, including, but not limited to-

(i) the fact that the individual is or was an official of that public body;

(ii) the title, work address, work phone number an d other similar particulars of the individual;

(iii) the classification, salary scale or remuneration and responsibilities of the position held or services
performed by the individual; and

(iv) the name of the individual on a record prepared by the individual in the course of employment.

35 Mandatory protec tion of certain records of So uth African Revenue Service

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the information officer of the South African Revenue Service, referred
to in section 2 (3), must refuse a request for access to a record of that Service if it contains
information which was obtained
or is held by that Service for the purposes of enforcing legislation
concerning the collection of revenue as defined in section 1 of the South African Revenue Service
Act, 1997 (Act 34 of 1997).

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) insofar as it consists of information about the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made.

36 Mandatory protecti on of commercial information of third party

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the information officer of a public body must refuse a request for access
to a record of the body if the record contains-

(a) Trade secrets of a third party;

(b financial, commercial, scientific or technical information, other than trade secrets, of a third party,
the disclosure of which would be likely to cause to the commercial or financial interests of that
third party; or

(c) information supplied in confidence by a third party the disclosure of which could reasonably be
expected-

(i) to put that third party at a disadvantage in contractual or other negotiations; or

(ii) to prejudice that third pa rty in commercial competition.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) insofar as it consists of information-

(a) already publicly available;

(b) about a third party who has consented in terms of section 48 or otherwise in writing to its
disclosure to the requester concerned; or

(c) about the results of any product or environmental testing or other investigation supplied by, carried
out by or on behalf of a third party and its disclosure would reveal a serious public safety or
environmental risk.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (c), the results of any product or environmental testing or other
investigation do not include the results of preliminary testing or other investigation conducted for
the purpose of developing methods of testing or other investigation.

37 Mandatory protec tion of certain confidential information, and prot ection of certain other
confidential informatio n, of third party

(I) Subject to subsection (2), the information officer of a public body-

(a) must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if the disclosure of the record would
constitute an action for breach of a duty of confidence owed to a third party in terms of an
agreement; or

(b ) may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if the record consists of information that
was supplied in confidence by a third party-

(i) the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to prejudice the future supply of similar information, or information from the same source: and

(ii) if it is in the public interest that similar in formation or information from the same source, should
continue to be supplied.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection ( 1) insofar as it consists of information-

(a) already publicly available; or

(b) about the third party concerned that has consented in terms of section 48 or otherwise in writing to
its disclosure to the requester concerned.

38 Mandatory protection of safety of individuals, and protection of property

The information officer of a public body-

(a) must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure could reasonably be
expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual; or

(b) May refuse a request for access to a record of the bod y if its disclosure would be likey to prejudice
or impair-

(i) the security of-

(aa) a building, structure or system, including, but not limited to, a computer or communication
system;

(bb) a means of transport; or

(cc) any other property; or

(ii) methods, systems, plans or procedures for the protection of-

(aa) an individual in accordance with a witness protection scheme;

(bb the safety of the public, or any part of the public; or

(cc) the security of property cont emplated in subparagraph (i) (aa), (bb) or (cc).

39 Mandatoy protection of po lice dockets in bail proceedings, and protection of law
enforcement and legal proceedings

(I) The information officer of a public body-

( a) must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if access to that record is prohibited in
terms of section 60 (14) of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977); or

(b) may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if-

(i) the record contain; methods, techniques, procedures or guidelines for-

(aa) the prevention, detection, curtailment or investigation of a contravention or possible contravention
of the law; or

(bb) the prosecution of alleged offenders,

and the disclosure of those methods, techniques, procedures or guidelines could reasonably be expected to
prejudice the effectiveness of those methods, techniques, procedures or guidelines or lead to the
circumvention of the law or facilitate the commission of an offence;

(ii) the prosecution of an alleged offender is being prepared or about to co mmence or pending and the
disclosure of the record coul d reasonably be expected-

(aa) to impede that prosecution; or

(bb) to result in a miscarriage of justice in that prosecution; or

(iii) the disclosure of the record could reasonably be expected-

(aa) to prejudice the investigation of a contravention or possible contravention of the law which is
about to commence or is in progress or, if it has been suspended or terminated, is likely to be
resumed;

(bb) to reveal, or enable a person to ascertain, the identity of a confidential source of information in
relation to the enforcement or administration of the law;

(cc) to result in the intimidation or coercion of a witness, or a person who might be or has been called
as a witness, in criminal, proceedings or other proceedings to enforce the law;

(dd) to facilitate the commission of a contravention of th e law, including, but not limited to, subject to
subsection (2), escape from lawful detention; or

(ee) to prejudice or impair the fairness of a tria l or the impartiality of an adjudication.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1 ) (b) (iii) (dd) insofar as it consists of
information about the general conditions of detention of persons in custody.

(3) ( a) If a request for access to a record of a public body must or may be refused in terms of subsection
(I) (a) or (b), or could, if it existed, be so refused, and the disclosure of the existence or non-
existence of the record would be likely to ca use the harm contemplated in subsection (1) (a) or (b),
the information officer concerned may refuse to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of
the record.

(b) If the information officer so refuses to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the
record, the notice referred to in section 25 (3) must-

(i) state that fact,

(ii) identify the provision of subsection (1) (a) or (b) in terms of which access would have been
refused if the record had existed;

(iii) state adequate reasons for the refusal, as required by section 25 (3), in so far as they can be given
without causing the harm contemplated in any provision of subsection (I) (a) or (b); and

(iv) state that the requester concerned may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a court, as the case may be, against the refusal as required by section 25 (3).

40 Mandatory protection of records privileged from pr oduction in legal proceedings

The information officer of a public body must refuse a request to a record of the body if the record
is privileged from production in legal proceedings unless the person entitled to the privilege has
waived the privilege.

41 Defence, security and intern ational relations of Republic

(1) The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if
its disclosure-

(a) could reasonably be expected to cause prejudice to-

(i) the defence of the Republic:

(ii) the security of the Republic: or

(iii) subject to subsection (3), the international relations of the Republic; or

(b) would reveal information-

(i) supplied in confidence by or on behalf of another State or an international organisation:

(ii) supplied by or on behalf of the Republic to a nother state or an international organisation in terms
of an arrangement or international agreement, contemplated in section 231 of the Constitution,
with that state or organisation which requires the information to be held in confidence; or

(iii) required to be held in confidence by an in ternational agreement or customary international law
contemplated in section 231 or 232, respectively of the Constitution.

(2) A record contemplated in subsection (I), w ithout limiting the generality of that subsection.
includes a record containing information-

(a) relating to military tactics or strategy or military exercises or operations undertaken in preparation
of hostilities or in connection with the detecti on, prevention, suppression or curtailment of
subversive or hostile activities;

(b) relating to the quantity , characteristics, capabilities, vulnerabilities or deployment of

(i) weapons or any other equipment used for the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of
subversive or hostile activities; or

(ii) anything being designed, developed, produced or considered for use as weapons or such other equipment;

(c) relating to the characteristics, cap abilities, vulnerabilities, performance, potential, deployment or
functions of-

(i) any military force, unit or personnel; or

(ii) any body or person responsible for the detection, prevention, suppression or curtailment of subversive or hostile activities;

(d) held for the purpose of intelligence relating to-

(i) the defence of the Republic;

(ii) the detection, prevention, suppression or curt ailment of subversive or hostile activities; or

(iii) another state or an international organisation used by or on behalf of the Republic in the process of
deliberation and consultation in the conduct of international affairs;

(e) on methods of, and scientific or technical equipment for, collecting, assessing or handling
information referred to in paragraph (d);

(f) on the identity of a confidential source and any other source of information referred to in
paragraph (d);

(g) on the positions adopted or to be adopted by the Republic, another state or an international
organisation for the purpose of present or future international negotiations; or

(h) that constitutes diplomatic correspondence exchanged with another state or an international
organisation or official correspondence exchanged with diplomatic missions or consular posts of
the Republic.

(3) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) ( a) (iii) if it came into existence more than
20 years before the request.

(4) (a) If a request for access to a record of a public body may be refused in terms of subsection (I), or
could, if it existed, be so refused, and the disclosure of the existence or non-existence of the record
would be likely to cause the harm contemplated in any provision of subsection (I), the information
officer concerned may refuse to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the record.

(b) If the information officer so refuses to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the
record, the notice referred to in section 25 (3) must-

(i) state that fact;

(ii) identify the provision of subsection (I) in term s of which access would .have been refused if the
record had existed;

(iii) state adequate reasons for the refusal, as required by section 25 (3), in so far as they can be given
without causing the harm contemplated in subsection (I); and

(iv) state that the requester may lodge an internal appeal or an application with a Court, as the case may be, against the refusal as required by section 25 (3).

42 Economic interests and financial welfare of Republic and commerci al activities of
public bodies

(I) The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if
its disclosure would be likely to materially jeopardise the economic interests or financial welfare
of the Republic or the ability of the government to manage the economy of the Republic
effectivelv in the best interests of the Republic.

(2) The information referred to in subsection ( I) includes, without limiting the generality of that
subsection, information about-

(a) a contemplated change in, or maintenance of, a policy substantially affecting the currency,
coinage, legal tender, exchange rates or foreign investment;

(b) a contemplated change in or decision not to change-

(i) credit or interest rates;

(ii) customs or excise duties, taxes or any other source of revenue;

(iii) the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;

(iv) government borrowing; or

(v) the regulation of prices of goods or services, rents or wages, salaries or other incomes; or

(c) a contemplated-

(i) sale or acquisition of immovable or movable property; or

(ii) international trade agreement.

(3) Subject to subsection (5), the information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access
to a record of the body if the record-

(a) contains trade secrets of the State or a public body;

(b) contains financial, commercial, scientific or tec hnical information, other than trade secrets, the
disclosure of which would be likely to cause harm to the commercial or financial interests of the
State or a public body;

(c) contains information. the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected.

(i) to put a public body at a disadvantage in contractual or other negotiations: or

(ii) to prejudice a public body in commercial competition; or

(d is a computer program, as defined in section 1 (1) of the Copyright Act, 1978 ( Act 98 of 1978 ),
owned by the State or a public b ody, except insofar as it is requir ed to give access to a record to
which access is granted in terms of this Act.

(4) The information referred to in subsection (2) (c) (i) includes, without limiting the generality of that
subsection, information about an ag reement, or contemplated agreemen t, to transfer any interest in
or right to shares in the capital of a public body to any person which is not a public body referred
to in paragraph (a) or (b) (i) of the definition of ‘public body’.

(5) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (3) insofar as it consists of information-

(a) already publicly available;

(b) about or owned by a public body, other than the public body to which the request is made, which
has consented in writing to its disclosure to the requester concerned; or

(c) about the results of any product or environmental testing or other investigation supplied by, carried
out by or on behalf of a public body, and its disclosure would reveal a serious public safety or
environmental risk.

(6) For the purposes of subsection (5) (c), the results of any product or environmental testing or other
investigation do not include the results of preliminary testing or other investigation conducted for
the purpose of developing methods of testing or other investigation.

(7) If a request for access to a record contemplated in subsection (5) (c) is granted and the testing or
other investigation was carried out by or on behalf of the public body from which the record is
requested, the information officer must at the same time as access to the record is given, provide
the requester with a written explanation of the methods used in conducting the testing or other
investigation.

43 Mandatory protection of res earch information of third party and protection of research
information of public body

(1) The information officer of a public body must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if
the record contains information about research being or to be carried out by or on behalf of a third
party, the disclosure of which would be likely to expose-

(a) the third party;

(b) a person that is or will be carrying out the re search on behalf of the third party; or

(c) the subject matter of the research, to serious disadvantage.

(2) The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if
the record contains information about research being or to be carried out by or on behalf of a
public body, the disclosure of which would be likely to expose-

(a) the public body;

(b) a person that is or will be carrying out the research on behalf of the public body; or

(c) the subject matter of the research, to serious disadvantage.

44 Operations of public bodies

(I) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the informati on officer of a public body may refuse a request for
access to a record of the body-

(a) if the record contains-

(i) an opinion, advice, report or recommendation obtained or prepared; or

(ii) an account of a consultation, discussion or deliberation that has occurred, including, but not limited to, minutes of a meeting, for the purpose of assisting to formulate a policy or
take a decision in the exercise of a power or performance of a duty conferred or imposed
by law; or
(b) if-

(i) the disclosure of the record could reasonab ly be expected to frustrate the deliberative
process in a public body or between public bodies by inhibiting the candid-

(aa) communication of an opinion, advice, report or recommendation;
or

(bb) conduct of a consultation, discussion or deliberation; or

(ii) the disclosure of the record could, by premature disclosure of a policy or contemplated
policy, reasonably be expected to frustrate the success of that policy.

(2) Subject to subsection (4), the in formation officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a
record of the body if-

(a) the disclosure of the record could reasonably be exp ected to jeopardise the effectiveness of a testing,
examining or auditing procedure or method used by a public body;

(b) the record contains evaluative material, whether or not the person who supplied it is identified in the
record, and the disclosure of the material would breach an express or implied promise which was-

(i) made to the person who supplied the material; and

(ii) to the effect that the material or the id entity of the person who supplied it, or both, would
be held in confidence; or

(c) the record contains a preliminar y, working or other draft of an official of a public body.

(3) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (I) if the record came into existence more than 20
years before the request concerned.

(4) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) or (2) insofar as it consists of an account of, or a
statement of reasons required to be given in accordance with section 5 of the Promotion of Administrative
Justice Act, 2000.

45 Manifestly frivolous or vexatious requests, or substantial and unreasonable diversion of
resources

The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if-

(a) the request is manifestly frivolous or vexatious; or

(b) the work involved in processing the request would substantially and unreasonably divert the resources
of the public body.

46 Mandatory disclosu re in public interest

Despite any other provision of this Chapter, the information officer of a public body must grant a request
for access to a record of the body contemplated in section 34 (1), 36 (1), 37 (1) (a) or (b). 38 (a) or (b). 39
(1) (a) or (h). 40, 41 (I) (a) or (b). 42 (1) or (3). 43 (1).or (2), 44 (1) or (2) or 45, if –

(a) the disclosure of the record would reveal evidence of-

(i) a substantial contravention of, or failure to comply with, the law; or

(ii) an imminent and serious public safety or environmental risk; and

(c) the public interest in the disclosure of the record clearly outweighs the harm contemplated in the
provision in question.

CHAPTER 5

THIRD PARTY NOTIFICATION AND INTERVENTION (ss 47-49)

47 Notice to third parties

(1) The information officer of a public body considering a request for access to a record that might be a
record contemplated in section 34 (1),35 (1),36 (1),37 (1) or 43 (1) must take all reasonable steps to
inform a third party to whom or which the record relates of the request.

(2) The information officer must inform a third party in terms of subsection (1)-

(a) as soon as reasonably possible, bu t in any event, within 21 days after that request is received or
transferred; and

(b) by the fastest means reasonably possible.

(3) When informing a third party in terms of subsection (1), the information officer must-

(a) state that he or she is considering a request for access to a record that might be a record
contemplated in section 34 (1), 35 (1), 36 (1), 37 (I) or 43 (I), as the case may be, and describe the
content of the record;

(b) furnish the name of the requester ;

(c) describe the provisions of section 34 (1), 35 (1 ), 36 (1 ), 37 (1) or 43 (1), as the case may be;

(d) i n any case where the information officer believes that the provisions of section 46 might apply,
describe those provisions, specify which of the circumstances referred to in section 46 (a) in the
opinion of the information officer might apply and st ate the reasons why he or she is of the opinion
that section 46 might apply; and

(e) state that the third party may, within 21 days after the third party is informed-

(i) make written or oral representations to th e information officer why the request for access
should be refused; or
(ii) give written consent for the disclo sure of the record to the requester.

(4) If a third party is not informed orally of a request for access in terms of subsection (1), the information
officer must give a written notice stating the matters referred to in subsection (3) to the third party.

48 Representations and consent by third parties

(1) A third party that is informed in terms of section 47 (1) of a request for access, may, within 21 days
after the third party has been informed-

(a) make written or oral representations to the inform ation officer concerned why the request should be
refused; or

(b) give written consent for the disclosure of the record to the requester concerned.

(2) A third party that obtains knowledge about a request for access other than in terms of section 47 (1)
may-

(a) make written or oral representations to the inform ation officer concerned why the request should be
refused; or

(b) give written consent for the disclosure of the record to the requester concerned.

49 Decision on representations for refusal and notice thereof

(1) The information officer of a public body must, as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event within
30 days after every third party is informed as required by section 47-

(a) decide, after giving due regard to any representations made by a third party in terms of section 48,
whether to grant the request for access; and

(b) notify the third party so informed and a third party not informed in terms of section 47 (1), but that
made representations in terms of section 48 or is lo cated before the decision is taken, of the decision.

(2) If, after all reasonable steps have been taken as required by section 47 (1), a third party is not informed
of the request in question and the third party did not make any representations in terms of section 48,
any decision whether to grant the re quest for access must be made with due regard to the fact that the
third party did not have the opportunity to make representations in terms of section 48 why the request
should be refused.

(3) If the request for access is granted, the notice in terms of subsection (I) (b) must state-

(a) adequate reasons for granting the request, including the provisions of this Act relied upon;

(b) that the third party may lodge an appeal or an application, as the case may be, against the decision
within 30 days after notice is given, and the proced ure for lodging the internal appeal or application,
as the case may be; and

(c) that the requester will be given access to the record after expiry of the applicable period
contemplated in paragraph ( b), unless such internal appeal or ap plication with a court is lodged
within that period,

(4) If the information officer of a public body decides in terms of subsection (1) to grant the request for
access concerned, he or she must give the requeste r access to the record concerned after the expiry
of 30 days after notice is given in terms of subsection (1) (b), unless an internal appeal or an
application with a court, as the case may be, is lodged against the decision within that period,

PART3

ACCESS TO RECORDS OF PRIVATE BODIES (ss 50-73)

CHAPTER l

RIGHT OF ACCESS (s 50)

50 Right of access to records of private bodies

(1) A requester must be given access to any record of a private body if-

(a) that record is required for the exer cise or protection of any rights;

(b) that person complies with the procedural requireme nts in this, Act relating to a request for access to
that record: and

(c) access to that record is not refused in terms of an y ground for refusal contemplated in Chapter 4 of
this Part.

(2) In addition to the requirements referred to in subsection (1), when a public body, referred to in
paragraph (a) or (b) (i) of the definition of ‘public body’ in sec tion 1, requests access to a record of a private
body for the exercise or protection of any rights, other than its rights, it must be acting in the public interest.

(3) A request contemplated in subsection ( 1) includes a request for acces s to a record containing personal
information about the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made.

CHAPTER 2

PUBLICATION AND AVAILABILITY OF CERTAIN RECORDS (ss 51-52)

51 Manual

(1) Within six months after the commencement of this section or the coming into existence of the private
body concerned the head of a private body must compile a manual containing-

(a) the postal and street address, phone and fax number and, if available, electronic mail address of the
head of the body;

(b) a description of the guide referred to in section 10, if available, and how to obtain access to it;

(c) the latest notice in terms of section 52 (2), if any, regarding the categories of record of the body
which are available without a person having to request access in terms of this Act;

(d) a description of the records of the body which are available in accordance with any other legislation;

(e) sufficient detail to facilitate a request for access to a record of the body, a description of the subjects
on which the body holds records and the categ ories of records held on each subject; and

(f) such other information as may be prescribed.

(2) The head of a private body must on a regular basis update the manual referred to in subsection (1).

(3) Each manual must be made available as prescribed.

(4) For security, administrative or financial reasons, the Minister may, on request or of his or her own
accord. by notice in the Gazette, exempt any private body or category of private bodies from any provision
of this section for such period as the Minister thinks fit.

52 Voluntary disclosure and automatic availability of certain records

(1) The head of a private body may, on a voluntary and periodic basis, submit to the Minister a description
of-

(a) the categories of records of the pr ivate body that are automatically available without a person having
to request access in terms of this Act, including such categories available-

(i) for inspection in terms of legislation other than this Act;
(ii) for purchase or copying from the private body;
(iii) from the private body free of charge; and

(b) how to obtain access to such records.

(2) If appropriate the Minister must, on a periodic basis and by notice in the Gazette-

(a) publish any description so submitted; and

(b) update any description so published.

(3) The only fee payable (if any) for access to a record described in a list so published is a
prescribed fee for reproduction.

(4) The head of a private body may delete any part of a record contemplated in subsection (1) ( a) which,
on a request for access, may or must be refused in terms of Chapter 4 of this Part.

(5) Section 50 and any other provisions in this Act re lated to that section do not apply to any category of
records included in a notice in terms of subsection (2).

CHAPTER 3

MANNER OF ACCESS (ss 53-61)

53 Form of request

(1) A request for access to a record of a private body mu st be made in the prescribed form to the private
body concerned at its address, fax number or electronic mail address.

(2) The form for a request for access prescribed for the purposes of subsection (I) must at least require the
requester concerned-

(a) to provide sufficient particulars to enable the head of the private body concerned to identify-

(i) the record or records requested; and
(ii) the requester;

(b) to indicate which form of access is required;

(c) to specify a postal address or fax numb er of the requester in the Republic;

(d) to identify the right the requester is seeking to exer cise or protect and provide an explanation of why
the requested record is required for the ex ercise or protection of that right;

(e) if, in addition to a written reply, the requester wishes to be informed of the decision on the request in
any other manner, to state that manner and the n ecessary particulars to be so informed; and

(f) if the request is made on behalf of a person, to submit proof of the capacity in which the requester is
making the request, to the reasonable satisfaction of the head.

54 Fees

(1) The head of a private body to whom a request for access is made must by noti ce require the requester,
other than a personal requester, to pay the prescribed request fee (if any), before further processing the
request.

(2) If-

(a) the search for a record of a priv ate body in respect of which a reque st for access by a requester other
than a personal requester, has been made; and

(b) the preparation of the record for disclosure (including any arrangements contemplated in section 29
(2) (a) and (b) (i) and (ii) (aa)),

would, in the opinion of the head of the private body concerned, require more than the hours prescribed for
this purpose for requesters the head must by notice re quire the requester, other than a personal requester to
pay as a deposit the prescribed por tion (being not more than one third) of the access fee which would be
payable if the request is granted.

(3) The notice referred to in subsection ( I) or (2) must state-

(a) the amount of the deposit payable in terms of subsection (2), if applicable;

(b) that the requester may lodge an application with a court against the tender or payment of the request
fee in terms of subsection (1), or the tender or paym ent of a deposit in terms of subsection (2) as the
case may be; and
(c) the procedure (including the period) for lodging the application.

(4) If a deposit has been paid in respect of a request for access which is refused, the head of the private
body concerned must repay the deposit to the requester.

(5) The head of a private body may withhold a record un til the requester concerned has paid the applicable
fees (if any).

(6) A requester whose request for access to a record of a private body has been granted must pay an access
fee for reproduction and for search and preparation contemplated in subsection (7) (a) and (b), respectively,
for any time reasonably required in excess of the prescribed hours to search for and prepare (including
making any arrangements contemplated in section 29 (2) (a) and (b) (i) and (ii) (aa)) the record for
disclosure.

(7) Access fees prescribed for the pur poses of subsection (6) must provide for a reasonable access fee for-

(a) the cost of making a copy of a record, or of a transcription of the content of a record, as
contemplated in section 29 (2) (a) and (b) (i), (ii) (bb), (iii) and (v) and, if applicable, the postal fee;
and

(b) the time reasonably required to search for the record and prepare (including making any
arrangements contemplated in section 29 (2) (a) and (b) (i) and (ii) (aa)) the record for disclosure to
the requester.

(8) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette-

(a) exempt any person or category of persons from paying any fee referred to in this section;

(b) determine that any fee referred to in this s ection is not to exceed a certain maximum amount;

(c) determine the manner in which any fee referred to in this section is to be calculated;

(d) determine that any fee referred to in this s ection does not apply to a category of records;

(d) exempt any person or record or category of person s or records for a stipulated period from any fee
referred to in subsection (6); and

(f) determine that where the cost of collecting any fe e referred to in this section exceeds the amount
charged, such fee does not apply.

54 Records that cannot be found or do not exist

(I) If-

(a) all reasonable steps have been taken to find a record requested; and

(b) there are reasonable grounds fo r believing that the record-

(i) is in the private body’s possession but cannot be found; or

(ii) does not exist, the head of a private body must, by way of affidavit or affirmation, notify
the requester that it is not possible to give access to that record.

(2) The affidavit or affirmation refe rred to in subsection (1) must give a full account of all steps taken to
find the record in question or to determine whether the record exists, as the case may be, including all
communications with every person who conducted the search on behalf of the head.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, the notice in terms of subsection (1) is to be regarded as a decision to
refuse a request for access to the record concerned.

(4) If, after notice is given in terms of subsection (1), the record in question is found, the requester
concerned must be given access to the record unless acces s is refused on a ground for refusal contemplated
in Chapter 4 of this Part.

56 Decision on request and notice thereof

(1) Subject to Chapter 5 of this Part, the head of the private body to whom the request is made must, as
soon as reasonably possible, but in any event within 30 days, after the request has been received or
after the particulars required in terms of section 53 (2) have been received-

(a) decide in accordance with this Act whether to grant the request; and

(c) notify the requester of the decision and, if the reque ster stated, as contemplated in section 53 (2) (e),
that he or she wishes to be informed of the decision in any other manner, inform him or her in that
manner if it is reasonably possible.

(2) If the request for access is granted, the notice in terms of subsection (I) (b) must state-

(a) the access fee (if any) to be paid upon access;

(b) the form in which access will be given; and

(c) that the requester may lodge an application with a co urt against the access fee to be paid or the form
of access granted, and the procedure for lodging the application.

(2) If the request for access is refused, the notice in terms of subsection (1) (b) must-

(a) State adequate reasons for the refusal, including the provisions of this Act
relied on;

(b) exclude, from any such reas ons, any reference to the content of the record; and

(c) state that the requester may lodge an application with a court against the
refusal of the request, and the procedure (including the period) for lodging the application.

57 Extension of period to deal with request

( I) The head of a private body to whom a request for access has been made, may extend the
period of 30 days referred to in section 56 (I) (in th is section referred to as the ‘original period’) once for a
further period of not more than 30 days, if-

(a) the request is for a large num ber of records or requires a search through a large number of
records and compliance with the original pe riod would unreasonably interfere with the
activities of the private body concerned;

(b) the request requires a s earch for records in, or collection thereof from, an
office of the private body not situated in the same town or city as the office of the head
that cannot reasonably be completed within the original period;

(c) consultation among divisions of the private body or with another private body is
necessary, or desirable to decide upon th e request that cannot reasonably be
completed within the original period;

(d) more than one of the circumstances contemplated in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) exist in
respect of the request making compliance w ith the original period not reasonably
possible: or

(e) the requester consents in writing to such extension.

(2) If a period is extended in terms of subsection ( I ), the head of the private body must, as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event within 30 days, after the request is received, notify the
requester of that extension, the period of the extension and the reasons for the extension.

(3) The notice in terms of subsection (2) must state-
(a) the period of the extension;

(b) adequate reasons for the extension, incl uding the provisions of this Act relied
upon; and

(c) that the requester may lodge an application with a court against the extension, and the
procedure (including the period) for lodging the application.

58 Deemed refusal of request

If the head of a private body fails to give the decision on a request for access to the

requester concerned within the period contemplated in section 56 (I), the head of the private bodies, for the
purposes of this Act, regarded as having refused the request.

59 Severability

(I) If a request for access is made to a record of a private body containing information
which may or must be refused in terms of any provision of Chapter 4 of this Part, every part of the record
which-

(a) does not contain; and
(b) can reasonably be severed from any part that contains, any such information must, despite
any other provision of this Act, be disclosed.

(2) If a request for access to-

(a) a part of a record is granted; and

(b) the other part of the record is refused, as contemplated in subsection (I), the
provisions of section 56 (2) apply to paragraph (a) of this section and the provisions of
section 56 (3) to paragraph (b) of this section.

60 Form of access

If access is granted to a record of a private body, the he ad of that body must, as soon as reasonably possible
after notification in terms of section 56, but subject to section 57, give
access in

(a) such form as the requester reasonably requires; or

(b) if no specific form of access is required by the requester, such form as the head
reasonably determines.

61 Access to health or other records

(I) If the head of a private body who grants, in terms of section 50, a request for access to a
record provided by a health practitioner in his or her capacity as such about the physical
or mental health, or well-being-

(a) of the requester; or

(b) if the request has been made on behalf of the person to whom the record relates, of that
person, (in this section, the requester and person referred to paragraphs (a) and (b),
respectively, are referred to as the ‘relevant pe rson’), is of the opinion that the disclosure
of the record to the relevant person might cause serious harm to his or her physical or
mental health, or well-being, the information officer may, before giving access in terms
of section 60, consult with a health practitioner who, subject to subsection (2), has been
nominated by the relevant person.

(2) If the relevant person is-

( a) under the age of 16 years, a person having parental responsibilities for the relevant person
must make the nomination contemplated in subsection (1); or

(b) incapable of managing his or her affairs, a person appointed by the court to manage those
affairs must make that nomination.

(3) (a) If, after being given access to the record con cerned, the health practitioner consulted in
terms of subsection ( 1) is of the opinion that the disclosure of the record to the relevant person,
would be likely to cause serious harm to his or her physical or mental health, or well-being, the
head may only give access to the record if the reque ster proves to the satisfaction of the head that
adequate provision is made for such counselling or arrangements as are reasonably practicable
before, during or after the disclosure of the record to limit, alleviate or avoid such harm to the
relevant person.

(b) Before access to the record is so given to th e requester, the person responsible for such
counselling or arrangements must be given access to the record.

CHAPTER 4

GROUNDS FOR REFUSAL OF ACCESS TO RECORDS (ss 62-70)

62 Interpretation

A provision of this Chapter in terms of which a request for access to a record must or may or may not be
refused, must not be construed as-

(a) limited in its application in any way by any other provision of this Chapter in terms of
which a request for access to a record must or may or may not be refused; and

(b) not applying to a particular record by reason that another provision of this
Chapter in terms of which a request for access to a record must or may or may not be
refused, also applies to that record-

63 Mandatory protection of privacy of third party who is natural person

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a private body must refuse a request for access to a record of
the body if its disclosure would involve the unreasonable disclosure of personal information about a third
party, including a deceased individual.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) insofar as it consists of information-

(a) about an individual who has consented in terms of section 72 or otherwise in
writing to its disclosure to the requester concerned;

(b) already publicly available:

(c) that was given to the private body by the individual to whom it relates and the individual
was informed by or on behalf of the private body, before it is given, that the information
belongs to a class of information that would or might be made available to the public;

(d) about an individual’s physical or mental health, or well-being, who is under the care of
the requester and who is-

(i) under the age of 18 years; or

(ii) incapable of understanding the nature of the request, and if giving access would
be in the individual’s best interests;

(e) about an individual who is deceased and the requester is-

(i) the individual’s next of kin; or

(ii) making the request with the written consent of the individual’s next of kin: or

(f) about an individual who is or was an official of a private body and which
relates to the position or functions of the individual, including, but not limited to-

(i) the fact that the individual is or was an official of that private body;

(ii) the title, work address, work phone number and other similar particulars of the
individual;

(iii) the classification, salary scale or remuneration and responsibilities of the
position held or services performed by the individual; and

(iv) the name of the individual on a record prepared by the individual in the course of employment.

64 Mandatory protec tion of commercial information of third party

(I) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a private body must refuse a request for access
to a record of the body if the record contains-

(a) trade secrets of a third party;

(b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information, other than trade secrets, of a
third party , the disclosure of which would be likely to cause harm to the commercial or
financial interests of that third party; or

(c) information supplied in confidence by a third party, the disclosure of which could
reasonably be expected-

(i) to put that third party at a disadvantage in contractual or other negotiations; or

(ii) to prejudice that third pa rty in commercial competition.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsecti on (I) insofar as it consists of information about-
(a) a third party who has consented in terms of section 72 or otherwise in writing to its
disclosure to the requester concerned;

(b) the results of any product or environmental testing or other investigation supplied by,
carried out by or on behalf of a third party and its disclosure would reveal a serious public
safety or environmental risk.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) (b), the results of any product or environmental testing or other
investigation do not include the results of preliminary testing or other investigation conducted for
the purpose of developing methods of testing or other investigation.

65 Mandatory protection of certain confidential information of third party

The head of a private body must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure would
constitute an action for breach of a duty of confidence owed to a third party in terms of an agreement.

66 Mandatory protection of safety of individuals, and protection of property

The head of a private body-

(a ) must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure could
reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual; or

(b) may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure would
be likely to prejudice or impair-

(i) the security of-

(aa) a building, structure or system, including, but not limited to, a computer
or communication system;

(bb) a means of transport; or

(cc) any other property; or

(ii) methods, systems, plans or procedures for the protection of-

(aa) an individua1 in accordance with a witness protection scheme;

(bb) the safety of the public, or any part of the public; or

(cc) the security of property cont emplated in subparagraph (i) (aa), (bb) or
(cc).

67 Mandatory protecti on of records privileged from pr oduction in legal proceedings

The head of a private body must re fuse a request for access to a record of the body if the record is
privileged from production in legal proceedings unless the person entitled to the privilege has waived the
privilege.

68 Commercial information of private body

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the head of a pr ivate body may refuse a request for access to a
record of the body if the record-

(a) contains trade secrets of the private body;

(b) contains financial, commercial, scientific or technical information, other than
trade secrets, of the priv ate body, the disclosure of which would be likely to
cause harm to the commercial or financial interests of the body;

(c) contains information, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected-

(i) to put the private body at a disadvantage in contractual or other
negotiations; or

(ii) to prejudice the body in commercial competition; or

(d) is a computer program. as defined in section I (I) of the Copyright Act 1978
(Act 98 of 1978) owned by the private body, except insofar as it is required to
give access to a record to which access is granted in terms of this Act.

(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) insofar as it consists of information about the results of any product or environmental testing or other investigation supplied by, carried out
by or on behalf of the private body and its disclosure would reveal a serious public safety or
environmental risk.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) the results of any product or environmental testing or other
investigation do not include the results of prelimin ary testing or other investigation conducted for
the purpose of developing methods of testing or other investigation.

69 Mandatory protection of res earch information of third party, and protection of
research information of private body

(I) The head of a private body must refuse a re quest for access to a record of the body if the
record contains information about research being or to be carried out by or on behalf of a third
party, the disclosure of which would be likely to expose-

(a) the third party;

(b) a person that is or will be carrying out th e research on behalf of the third party;
or

(c) the subject matter of the research, to serious disadvantage.

(2) The head of a private body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if the record
contains information about research being or to be carried out by or on behalf of the private body the
disclosure of which would be likely to expose-

(a) the private body;

(b) a person that is or will be carrying out th e research on behalf of the private body;
or

(c) the subject matter of the research, to serious disadvantage.

70 Mandatory disclosure in public interest

Despite any other provision of this Chapter, the head of a private body must grant a
request for access to a record of the body contemplated in section 63 (1),64 (1),65,66 (a) or (b), 67,68 (1) or
69 (1) or (2) if-

(a) the disclosure of the record would reveal evidence of-

(i) a substantial contravention of, or failure to comply with, the law; or

(ii) imminent and serious public safety or environmental risk; and

(b) the public interest in the disclosure of the record clearly outweighs the harm
contemplated in the provision in question.

CHAPTER 5

THIRD PARTY NOTIFICATION AND INTERVENTION (ss 71- 73)

71 Notice to third parties

(1) The head of a private body considering a re quest for access to a record that might be a
record contemplated in sectio n 63 (1), 64 (1), 65 or 69 (1), must ta ke all reasonable steps to inform a third
party to whom or which the record relates of the request.

(2) The head must inform a third party in terms of subsection (1)-

(a) as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event within 21 days after that request
is received; and

(b) by the fastest means reasonably possible.

(3) When informing a third party in term s of subsection (1), the head must-

(a) state that he or she is considering a requ est for access to a record that might be
a record contemplated in section 63 (1),64 (1),65 or 69(1), as the case may be,
and describe the content of the record; ,

(b) furnish the name of the requester;

(c) describe the provisions of section 63 (1), 64 (1), 65 or 69 (1), as the case may
be

(d) in any case where the head believes that the provisions of section 70 might
apply, describe those provisions, specify which of the circumstances referred
to in section 70 (a) in the opinion of the head might apply and state the reasons
why he or she is of the opinion that section 70 might apply; and

(e) state that the third party may, within 21 days after the third party is informed-

(i) make written or oral representations to the head why the request for
access should be refused; or

(ii) give written consent for the disclosu re of the record to the requester.

(4) If a third party is informed orally of a request for access in terms of subsection (1), the head must
give a written notice stating the matters referred to in subsection (3) to the third party.

72 Representations and consent by third parties

(I) A third party that is informed in terms of section 71 (1) of a request for access, may,
within 21 days after being so informed-

(a) make written or oral representations to the head concerned why the request
should be refused; or

(b) give written consent for the disclosure of the record to the requester concerned.

(2) A third party that obtains knowledge about a request for access other than in terms of
section 71(l) may-

(a) make written or oral representations to the head concerned why the request
should be refused; or

(b) give written consent for the disclosure of the record to the requester concerned.

72 Decision on representations for refusal and notice thereof

(1) The head of a private body must, as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event
within 30 days after every third party is informed as required by section 71-

(a) decide, after giving due regard to any representations made by a third party in
terms of section 72, whether to grant the request for access; and

(b) notify the third party so informed and a third party not informed in terms of
section 71, but that made representations in terms of section 72 or is located
before the decision is taken, of the decision.

(2) If, after all reasonable steps have been taken as required by section 71, a third party is not
informed of a request, any decision whether to grant th e request for access must be made with due regard to
the fact that the third party did not have the opportunity to make representations in terms of section 72 why
the request should be refused.

(3) If the request is granted, the notice in terms of subsection (1) (b) must state- –

(a) adequate reasons for granting the request, including the provisions of this Act
relied upon to justify the granting;

(b) that the third party may lodge an application with a court against the decision of
the head within 30 days after notice is given, and the procedure for lodging the
application; and

(c) that the requester will be given access to the record after the expiry of the
applicable period contemplated in paragraph (b), unless an application with a
court is lodged within that period.

(4) If the head of the private body decides in terms of subsection (1) to grant the request for
access concerned he or she must give the requ ester access to the record concerned after
the expiry of 30 days after notice is written in terms of subsection (1) (b), unless an application
with a court is lodged against the decision within that period.

PART 4

APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS (ss 74-82)

CHAPTER l

INTERNAL APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS OF INFORMATION OFFICERS OF CERTAIN
PUBLIC BODIES (ss 74-77)

74 Right of internal appeal to relevant authority

(1) A requester may lodge an internal appeal against a decision of the information officer of a
public body referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of ‘public body’ in section 1-

(a) to refuse a request for access; or

(b) taken in terms of section 22,26 (I) or 29 (3), in relation to that requester with the relevant authority.

(2) A third party may lodge an internal appeal against a decision of the information officer of a public
body referred to in paragraph ( a) of the definition of ‘public body’ in section I to grant a request
for access.

75 Manner of internal appeal, and appeal fees

(I) An internal appeal-

(a) must be lodged in the prescribed form-

(i) within 60 days;

(ii) if notice to a third party is required by section 49 (I) (b), within 30 days after notice is given to the
appellant of the decision appealed against or, if notice to the appellant is not required, after the
decision was taken;

(b) must be delivered or sent to the information officer of the public body concerned at his or her
address, fax number or electronic mail address;

(c) must identify the subject of the in ternal appeal and state the reasons for the internal appeal and
may include any other relevant information known to the appellant:

(d) if, in addition to a written reply, th e appellant wishes to be informed of the decision on the internal
appeal in any other manner, must state that manne r and provide the necessary particulars to be so
informed;

(e) if applicable, must be accompanied by the prescribed appeal fee referred to in subsection (3): and

(f) must specify a postal address or fax number.

(2) (a) If an internal appeal is lodged after the expiry of the period referred to in subsection ( 1) (a, the
relevant authority must, upon good cause shown, allow the late lodging of the internal appeal.

(b) If that relevant authority disallows the late lodging of the internal appeal, he or she must give
notice of that decision to the person that lodged the internal appeal.

(3) (a) A requester lodging an internal appeal agains t the refusal of his or her request for access must pay
the prescribed appeal fee (if any).

(b) If the prescribed appeal fee is payable in respect of an internal appeal, the decision on the internal
appeal may be deferred until the fee is paid.

(4) As soon as reasonably possible, but in any ev ent within 10 working days after receipt of an
internal appeal in accordance with subsection ( I ), the information officer of the public body
concerned must submit to the relevant authority-

(a) the internal appeal together with his or her reasons for the decision concerned; and .

(b) if the internal appeal is against the refusal or granting of a request for access, the name, postal
address, phone and fax number an d electronic mail address, whicheve r is available, of any third
party that must be notified in terms of section 47 (I) of the request.

76 Notice to and representations by other interested persons

(1) If a relevant authority is consid ering an internal appeal against the refusal of a request for access to
a record contemplated in section 34 (1),35 (1),36 (1),37 (I) or 43 (I), the authority must inform the
third party to whom or which the record relates of the internal appeal, unless all necessary steps to
locate the third party have been unsuccessful.

(2) The relevant authority must inform a third party in terms of subsection (I)-

(a) as soon as reasonably possible, bu t in any event within 30 days after the receipt of the internal
appeal; and

(b) by the fastest means reasonably possible.

(3) When informing a third party in terms of subsection (I), the relevant authority must-

(a) state that he or she is considering an internal a ppeal against the refusal of a request for access to a
record contemplated in section 34 (1),35 (1),36 (1),37 (I) or 43 (I), as the case may be, and
describe the content of the record and the provisions of section 34 (1),35 (1),36 (1),37 (I) or 43 (I),
as the case may be;

(b) furnish the name of the appellant;

(c) in any case where that authority believes that the provisions of section 46 might apply, describe
those provisions, specify which of the ci rcumstances referred to in section 46 (a) in the opinion of
the head might apply and state the reasons why he or she is of the opinion that section 46 might
apply; and

( d) state that the third party may, within 21 days after the third party is informed, make written
representations to that authority why the request for access should not be granted.

(4) If a third party is informed orally of an internal appeal in terms of subsection ( I ), the relevant
authority must, on request, give a written notice sta ting the matters referred to in subsection (3) to
the third party.

(5) A third party that is informed of an internal a ppeal in terms of subsection (I), may within 21 days
after the third party has been informed, make written representations to the relevant authority why
the request for access shou ld not be granted.

(6) A third party that obtains knowledge about an internal appeal other than in terms of subsection (1)
may-

(a) make written or oral representations to the releva nt authority why the request for access should be
refused; or

(b) give written consent for the disclosure of the record to the requester concerned.

(7) If the relevant authority is considering an inte rnal appeal against the granting of a request for
access, the authority must give notice of the internal appeal to the requester concerned.

(8) The relevant authority must-

(a) notify the requester concerned in terms of subsection (7) as soon as reasonably possible, but in any
event within 30 days af ter the receipt of the internal appeal: and

(b) state in that notice that the third party may within 21 days after notice is given, make written
representations to that authority why that request should be granted.

(9) A requester to whom or which notice is given in terms of subsection (7) may within 21 days after
that notice is given, make written representations to the relevant authority why the request for
access should be granted.

77 Decision on in ternal appeal and notice thereof

(1) The decision on an in ternal appeal must be made with due regard to-

(a) the particulars stated in the internal appeal in terms of section 75 (I) (c);

(b) any reasons submitted by the information officer in terms of section 75 (4) (a);

(c) any representations made in terms of section 76 (5), (6) or (9); and

(d) if a third party cannot be located as contemplated in section 76 ( I ), the fact that the third party did
not have the opportunity to make representations in terms of section 76 (5) why the internal appeal
should be dismissed.

(2) When deciding on the internal appeal the relevant authority may confirm the decision appealed
against or substitute a new decision for it.

(3) The relevant authority must d ecide on the internal appeal-

(a) as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event within 30 days after the internal appeal is received
by the information officer of the body;

(b) if a third party is informed in terms of section 76 (1 ), as soon as reasonably possible, but in any
event within 30 days; or

(c) if notice is given in terms of section 76 (7)-

(i) within five working days after the requester concerned has made written representations in terms
of section 76 (9); or

(ii) in any other case within 30 days after notice is so given.

(4) The relevant authority must, immediately af ter the decision on an internal appeal-

(a) give notice of the decision to-

(i) the appellant;

(ii) every third party in formed as required by section 76 (I); and

(iii) the requester notified as requ ired by section 76 (7); and

(b) if reasonably possible, inform th e appellant about the decision in any other manner stated in terms
of section 75 ( I) ( d).

(5) The notice in terms of subsection (4) (a) must-

(a) state adequate reasons for the decision, including the provision of this Act relied upon;

(b) exclude, from such reasons, any refe rence to the content of the record;

(c) state that the appellant, third party or requester, as the case may be, may lodge an application with
a court against the decision on internal appeal-

(i) within 60 days; or

(ii) if notice to a third party is required by subsection (4) (a) (ii), within 30 days, after notice is given,
and the procedure for lodging the application; and

( d) if the relevant authority decides on internal a ppeal to grant a request for access and notice to a
third party-

(i) is not required by subsection (4) (a) (ii), that access to the record will forthwith be given; or

(ii) is so required, that access to the record will be given after the expiry of the applicable period for
lodging an application with a court against the deci sion on internal appeal referred to in paragraph
(c), unless that application is lodged before the end of that applicable period.

(6) If the relevant authority decides on internal a ppeal to grant a request for access and notice to a
third party-

(a) is not required by subsection (4) (a) (ii), the information officer of the body must forthwith give
the requester concerned access to the record concerned; or

(b) is so required, the information officer must, after the expiry of 30 days after the notice is given to
every third party concerned, give the request er access to the record concerned, unless an
application with a court is lodged against the deci sion on internal appeal before the end of the
period contemplated in subsection (5) (c) (ii) for lodging that application.

(7) If the relevant authority fails to give notice of the decision on an internal appeal to the appellant
within the period contemplated in subsection (3), that authority is, for the purposes of this Act.
regarded as having dismissed the internal appeal.

CHAPTER 2
APPLICATIONS TO COURT (ss 78-82)

78 Applications regarding decisions of informat ion officers or relevant authorities of public
bodies or heads of private bodies

(1) A requester or third party referred to in sectio n 74 may only apply to a court for appropriate relief
in terms of section 82 after that requester or third party has exhausted the internal appeal
procedure against a decision of the information officer of a public body provided for in section 74.

(2) A requester-

(a) that has been unsuccessful in an internal appeal to the relevant authority of a public body;

(b) aggrieved by a decision of the relevant authority of a public body to disallow the late lodging of an
internal appeal in terms of section 75 (2);

(c) aggrieved by a decision of the information officer of a public body referred to in paragraph (b) of
the definition of ‘public body’ in section 1-

(i) to refuse a request for access; or

(ii) taken in terms of section 22, 26 (1) or 29 (3); or

(d) aggrieved by a decision of the head of a private body-

(i) to refuse a request for access; or

(ii) taken in terms of section 54, 57 (I) or 60, may, by way of an application, within 30 days apply to a
court for appropriate relief in terms of section 82.

(3) A third party-

(a) that has been unsuccessful in an internal appeal to the relevant authority of a public body;

(b) aggrieved by a decision of the information officer of a public body referred to in paragraph (b) of
the definition of ‘public body’ in sectio n I to grant a request for access: or

(c) aggrieved by a decision of the h ead of a private body in relation to a request for access to a record
of that body, may, by way of an application, within 30 days apply to a court for appropriate relief
in terms of section 82.

79 Procedure

(1) The Rules Board for Courts of Law, established by section 2 of the Rules Board for Courts of Law
Act, 1985 (Act 107 of 1985), must within 12 months after the commencement of this section,
make and implement rules of procedure for-

(a) a court in respect of applications in terms of section 78; and

(b) a court to receive representations ex parse referred to in section 80 (3) (a).

(2) Before the implementation of the rules of procedure in terms of subsection (1) (a), an application
in terms of section 78 may only be lodged with a High Court or another court of similar status.

(3) Any rule made in terms of subsectio n (1) must, before publication in the Gazette, be approved by
Parliament.

80 Disclosure of records to, and non-disclosure by, court

(1) Despite this Act and any other law, any court hearing an application, or an appeal against a
decision on that application, may examine any record of a public or private body to which this Act
applies, and no such record may be withheld from the court on any grounds.

(2) Any court contemplated in subsection (1) may not disclose to any person, including the parties to the proceedings concerned, other than the public or private body referred to in subsection (1)-

(a) any record of a public or privat e body which, on a request for access, mayor must be refused in
terms of this Act; or

(b) if the information officer of a public body, or the relevant authority of that body on internal appeal,
in refusing to grant access to a record in terms of section 39 (3) or 4l (4), refuses to confirm or
deny the existence or non-existence of the record, an y information as to whether the record exists.

(3) Any court contemplated in subsection (1) may-

(a) receive representations ex parse;

(b) conduct hearings in camera; and

(c) prohibit the publication of such information in relation to the proceedings as the court determines,
including information in relation to the parties to the proceedings and the contents of orders made
by the court in the proceedings.

81 Proceedings are civil

(I) For the purposes of this Chapter proceedings on application in terms of section 78 are civil
proceedings.

(2) The rules of evidence ap plicable in civil proceedings apply to proceedi ngs on application in terms
of section 78.

(3) The burden of establishing that-

(a) the refusal of a request for access; or

(b) any decision taken in terms of section 22, 26 (I ), 29 (3), 54, 57 (I) or 60, complies with the
provisions of this Act rests on the party claiming that it so complies.

82 Decision on application

The court hearing an appli cation may grant any order that is just and equitable, including orders-

(a) confirming, amending or setting aside the decision which is the subject of the application
concerned;

(b) requiring from the information officer or relevant authority of a public body or the head of a
private body to take such action or to refrain from taking such action as the court considers
necessary within a period mentioned in the order;

(c) granting an interdict, interim or specific relief, a declaratory order or compensation; or

(d) as to costs.

PART5
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (ss 83-85)

83 Additional functions of Human Rights Commission

(I) The Human Rights Commission must-

(a) compile and make available a guide on how to use this Act as contemplated in section 10; and

(b) submit reports to the National Assembly as contemplated in section 84.

(2) The Human Rights Commission must, to the extent that financial and other resources are
available-

(a) develop and conduct educational programmes to advance the understanding of the public, in
particular of disadvantaged communities, of th is Act and of how to exercise the rights
contemplated in this Act;

(b) encourage public and privat e bodies to participate in the development and conduct of programmes
referred to in paragraph (a) and to undertake such programmes themselves; and

(c) promote timely and effective di ssemination of accurate informati on by public bodies about their
activities.

(3) The Human Rights Commission may-

(a) make recommendations for-

(i) the development, improvement. modernisation, reform or amendment of this Act or other
legislation or common law having a bearing on access to information held by public and private
bodies, respectively; and

(ii) procedures in terms of which public and private bodies make information electronically available;

(b) monitor the implementation of this Act:

(c) if reasonably possible, on request, assist any person wishing to exercise a right contemplated in
this Act:

(d) recommend to a public or private body that the body make such changes in the manner in which it
administers this Act as the Commission considers advisable;

(e) train information officers of public bodies;

(f) consult with and receive reports from public an d private bodies on the problems encountered in
complying with this Act;

(g) obtain advice from, consult with, or receive and consider proposals or recommendations from, any
public or private body, official of such a body or member of the public in connection with the
Commission’s functions in terms of this Act;

(h) for the purposes of section 84 (b) (x), request the Public Protector to submit to the Commission
information with respect to-

(i) the number of complaints lodged with the Public Protector in respect of a right conferred or duty
imposed by this Act;

(ii) the nature and outcome of those complaints; and

(i) generally, inquire into any matter, including any legislation, the common law and any practice and
procedure, connected with th e objects of this Act.

(4) For the purpose of the annual report referred to in section 84 and if so requested by the Human
Rights Commission, the head of a private body may furnish to that Commission information about
requests for access to records of the body.

(5) If appropriate, and if financial and other resources are available, an official of a public body must
afford the Human Rights Commission reasonable a ssistance for the effective performance of its
functions in terms of this Act.

84 Report to National Assembly by Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission must include in its annual report to the National Assembly
referred to in section 181 (5) of the Constitution-

(a) any recommendation in terms of section 83 (3) (a); and (b) in relation to each public body,
particulars of-

(i) the number of requests for access received;

(ii) the number of requests for access granted in full;

(iii) the number of requests for access granted in terms of section 46;

(iv) the number of requests for access refused in full and refused partially and the number of times
each provision of this Act was relied on to refuse access in full or partially;

(v) the number of cases in which the periods stipulated in section 25 (I) were extended in terms of
section 26 (I);

(vi) the number of internal appeals lodged with the relevant authority and the number of cases in
which, as a result of an internal appeal, access was given to a record or a part thereof;

(vii) the number of internal appeals which were lodged on the gr ound that a request for access was
regarded as having been refused in terms of section 27;

(viii) the number of applications made to every court and the outcome thereof and the number of
decisions of every court appealed against and the outcome thereof;

(ix) the number of applications to every court which were lodged on the ground that an internal appeal
was regarded as having been dismissed in terms of section 77 (7);

(x) the number of complaints lodged with the Public Protector in respect of a right conferred or duty
imposed by this Act and the nature and outcome thereof; and

(xi) such other matters as may be prescribed.

85 Expenditure of Human Rights Commission in terms of Act

Any expenditure in connection with the performance of the Human Rights Commission’s
functions in terms of this Act must be defrayed from moneys appropriated by Parliament to that
Commission for that purpose.

PART 6
TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS (ss 86-88)

86 Application of other legislation providing for access

(I) The Minister must, within 12 months after the commencement of section 6, introduce a Bill in
Parliament proposing the amendment of-

(a) Part I of the Schedule to include the provisions of legislation which provide for or promote access
to a record of a public body; and

(b) Part 2 of the Schedule to include the provisions of legislation which provide for or promote access
to a record of a private body.

(2) Until the amendment of this Act contemplated in subsection (I) takes effect, any other legislation not referred to in the Schedule which provides for access to a record of a public body or a private
body in a manner which, including, but not limited to, the payment of fees, is not materially more
onerous than the manner in which access may be obta ined in terms of Part 2 or 3 of this Act,
respectively, access may be given in terms of that legislation.

13 87 Extended periods for dealing with requests during first two years

(1) For-

(a) 12 months from the date that Part 2 takes effect in respect ofa public body, the reference to-

(i) 30 days in section 25 (1) and any other reference to that period in other provisions of this Act;

(ii) 30 days in section 49 (1) and any other reference to that period in other provisions of this Act,
must be construed as a reference to 90 days in respect of that public body; and

(b) 12 months following the 12 months referred to in paragraph (a), the reference to-

(i) 30 days in section 25 (I) and any other reference to that period in other provisions of this Act:
(ii) 30 days in section 49 (1) and any other reference to that period in other provisions of this Act. must be construed as a reference to 60 days in respect of the public body concerned.

(2) The periods of 90 days and 60 days referred to in subsection (1) (a) and (b), respectivey, may not
be extended in terms of section 26.

(3) Parliament must, after a period of 12 months, but within a period of 18 months, after the commencement of this section, review the operation of this section.

88 Correction of personal information

If no provision for the correction of personal information in a record of a public or private body
exists, that public or private body must take reasonable steps to establish adequate and appropriate
internal measures providing for such correction until legislation providing for such correction
takes effect.

PART 7
GENERAL PROVISIONS (89-93)

89 Liability

No person is criminally or civilly liable for anything done in good faith in the exercise or
performance or purported exercise or performance of any power or duty in terms of this Act.

90 Offences

A person who with intent to deny a ri ght of access in terms of this Act –

(a) destroys, damages or alters a record;

(b) conceals a record; or

(c) falsifies a record or makes a false record,

commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two
years.

91 Amends section 6 (4) of the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994,
as follows: paragraph (a) substitutes in paragraph (c) the expression ‘authority; and’ for the
expression ‘authority; and paragraph (b) adds paragraph (d).

92 Regulations

(I) The Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, make regulations regarding-

(a) any matter which is required or permin ed by this Act to be prescribed;

(b) any matter relating to the fees cont emplated in sections 22 and 54;

(c) any notice required by this Act;

(d) uniform criteria to be applied by the information officer of a public body when deciding which
categories of records are to be made av ailable in terms of section 15: and

(e) any administrative or procedural ma tter necessary to give effect to the provisions of this Act.
(2) Any regulation in terms of subsection (I) must, before publication in the Gazette, be submitted to
Parliament.

(3) Any regulation in terms of subsection (I) which- .

(a) relates to fees; or

(b) may result in financial expenditure for the State,

must be made by the Minister acting in consultation with the Minister of Finance.

93 Short title and commencement

(I) This Act is the Promotion of Access to Info rmation Act, 2000, and takes effect on a date
determined by the President by proclamation in the Gazette.

(2) Different dates may be so determined in respect of-

(a) different provisions of this Act;

(b) different categories of public bodies, including, but not limited to, different public bodies
contemplated in-

(i) paragraph (a);

(ii) paragraph (b) (i); and

(iii) paragraph (b) (ii),

of the definition of ‘public body’ in section I; and

(c) different categories of private bodies.

Schedule

PART 1

(Section 6(a))

Number and year

Short title Section of law
Act 107 of 1998

National Environmental
Management Act, 1998
Section 31(1)

PART 2

(Section 6(b))

Number and year

Short title Section of law
Act 107 of 1998

National Environmental
Management Act, 1998
Section 31(2)
2001hda2100426a

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