Section 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 public bodies in the definition of “requester”, 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 and 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.