What does PAIA mean for us
The Promotion of Access to Information Act, Act No. 2 of 2000 (PAIA) entrenches our valuable democracy.
As we boldly emerge from the manacles of a segregationist government that conducted its business in sinister secrecy, our beloved country became a shining example of democracy, openness and fairness. The social victory achieved in 1994 was entrenched in the Bill of Rights—section 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Central to ensuring that our people will not be subjected to future secrecy and unfairness, the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) (PAIA) was assented to in February 2000. We proudly stand behind PAIA as one of the most liberal freedom of information pieces of legislation in the world.
The implementation of PAIA is overseen by the Information Regulator of South Africa (Information Regulator), a body that monitors and enforces compliance with PAIA and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 4 of 2013 (POPIA).
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development is committed to the implementation of PAIA and has ensured that our new organisational structure has made provision for a dedicated office to implement PAIA. Our approach emphasises the importance of participative democracy, constant flow of empowering information, while also ensuring that our communities, particularly those at grassroots level, understand their role in upholding our democracy.
Section 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa stipulates that everyone has the right of access to any information held by the state and provides for the horizontal application of the right of access by another person to everyone when that information is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.
Through PAIA, we are further assured of upholding the principles of Batho Pele – People First!
Democracy is a right, a responsibility and a duty! Working together, we can do more to uphold this democracy and everything it stands for!