Section 10 | Guide on how to use Act

(1) The Information Regulator must update and make available the existing guide that has been compiled by the South African Human Rights Commission 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 and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013. 

(2) The guide must, without limiting the generality of subsection (1), include a description of— 

(a) the objects of this Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013; 

(b) 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; 

(c) the assistance available from the information officer of a public body in terms of this Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013; 

(d) the assistance available from the Information Regulator in terms of this Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013; 

(e) all remedies in law available regarding an act or failure to act in respect of a right or duty conferred or imposed by this Act and the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013, including the manner of lodging— 

(i) an internal appeal;
(ii) a complaint to the Information Regulator; and
(iii) an application with a court against a decision by the information officer of a public body, a decision on internal appeal, a decision by the Information Regulator or a decision of the head of a private body; 

(f) 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; 

(g) the provisions of sections 15 and 52 providing for the voluntary disclosure of categories of records by a public body and private body, respectively; 

(h) the notices issued in terms of sections 22 and 54 regarding fees to be paid in relation to requests for access; and 

(i) the regulations made in terms of section 92. 

(3) The Information Regulator 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. 

Section 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 to that record is not refused in terms of any ground for refusal contemplated in Chapter 4 of this Part. 

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

(3) A requester’s right of access contemplated in subsection (1) 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. 

Section 12 | Act not applying to certain public bodies or officials thereof

This Act does not apply to a record – 

(a) of the Cabinet and its committees;
(b) relating to 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 Tribunals Act, 1996 (Act No. 74 of 1996);or
(iii) a judicial officer of such court or Special Tribunal; 

(c) of an individual member of Parliament or of a provincial legislature in that capacity; or 

(d) relating to a decision referred to in paragraph (gg) of the definition of “administrative action” in section 1 of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, 2000 (Act No. 3 of 2000), regarding the nomination, selection or appointment of a Judicial officer or any other person by the Judicial Service Commission in terms of any law. 

Section 13 | Body determined to be part of another public body

For the purposes 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), 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. 

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

(1) The information officer of a public body must in at least three official languages make available, as referred to in subsection (3), a manual containing—

(a) in general 

(i) a description of its structure and functions; 

(ii) the postal and street address, 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 designated in terms of section 17(1); 

(iii) a description of all remedies available in respect of an act or a failure to act by the body; and 

(iv) such other information as may be prescribed; 

(b) insofar as this Act is concerned— 

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

(ii) 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 categories of records held on each subject; 

(iii) 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; 

(iv) a description of the services available to members of the public from the body and how to gain access to those services; and 

(v) 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— 

(aa) the formulation of policy; or 

(bb) the exercise of powers or performance of duties, 

by the body; 

(c) insofar as the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013, is concerned— 

(i) the purpose of the processing; 

(ii) a description of the categories of data subjects and of the information or categories of information relating thereto; 

(iii) the recipients or categories of recipients to whom the personal information may be supplied; 

(iv) planned transborder flows of personal information; and 

(v) a general description allowing a preliminary assessment of the suitability of the information security measures to be implemented by the responsible party to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information which is to be processed. 

(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) The manual referred to in subsection (1), or the updated version thereof as referred to in subsection (2) must be made available— 

(a) on the web site, if any, of the public body; 

(b) at the head office of the public body for public inspection during normal business hours; 

(c) to any person upon request and upon the payment of a reasonable amount; and 

(d) to the Information Regulator upon request.

(4) 

(a) If the functions of two or more public bodies are closely connected, the Minister may on request or of his or her own accord determine that the 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. 

Section 15 | Voluntary disclosure and automatic availability of certain records

(1) 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 make available in the prescribed manner a description of— 

(a) the categories of records of the public 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 body; and 

(iii) from the body free of charge; and 

(b) how to obtain access to such records. 

(2) ……….. 

(3) The only fee payable (if any) for access to a record referred to in subsection (1) is a prescribed fee for reproduction. 

(4) The information officer of a public 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 11 and any other provisions in this Act related to that section do not apply to any category of records included in a notice in terms of subsection (2). 

 

Section 16 | Information in telephone directory

The Director-General of the national department responsible for government communications and information services must at that department’s cost ensure the publication of the postal and street address, phone and fax number and, if available, electronic mail address of the information officer of every public body in every telephone directory issued for general use by the public as are prescribed. 

Section 17 | Designation of deputy information 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 the 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. 

(6) 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. 

Section 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 (1) must at least require the requester concerned – 

(a) to provide sufficient particulars to enable an official 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 referred 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 number of the requester in the Republic; 

(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 necessary 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 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 subsection (1), 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 thereof to the requester. 

Section 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 such reasonable assistance, free of charge, as is 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 official identified by the information officer would assist that requester in order to make the request in a form that would remove the grounds for refusal; 

(b) given the requester a reasonable opportunity to seek such assistance; 

(c) as far as reasonably possible, furnished the requester with any information (including information about the records, other than information 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 confirm 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 or alters the request for access concerned must be disregarded. 

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

(a) render such assistance as is 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.