Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Draft Bill, 2019

Call for comments opened 31 July 2019 Share this page:

Submissions must be received by no later than 31 August 2019

Justice and Correctional Services

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services invites you to comment on the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Draft Bill, 2019

The Bill seeks to amend the Promotion Access to Information Act, 2000 so as to:
• provide for information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates to be recorded, preserved and made available.

Comments can be emailed to Mr Siaybamkela Mthonjeni at smthonjeni@parliament.gov.za by no later than Saturday, 31 August 2019 at 16h30

Enquiries
can be directed to Mr Siaybamkela Mthonjeni on tel (021) 403 3734 or cell 083 709 8390


Issued by Mr. BG Magwanishe, MP Chairperson: Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services

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Read: My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another (CCT249/17) [2018] ZACC 17; 2018 (8) BCLR 893 (CC); 2018 (5) SA 380 (CC) (21 June 2018)

Read: Promotion of Access to Information Act

Read: Political Party Funding Act

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services (the “Committee”) requested the permission of the House in terms of Rule 273(1) for the introduction of the following legislation in the House, namely the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill, 2019 (“the Bill”). Permission was given to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on 25 July to proceed with the legislative proposal.

Particulars of the Bill

The Bill aims to amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) (“PAIA”), so as to revise and align its provisions with section 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (“the Constitution”), following the Constitutional Court’s judgment in My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another [2018] ZACC 17. The Bill seeks to regulate the recordal, preservation and availability of information in respect of private funding to political parties and independent candidates.

 Background and Objects of the Bill

On 21 June 2018, the Constitutional Court, in My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another [2018] ZACC 17, confirmed an order of constitutional invalidity made by the High Court of South Africa, Western Cape Division, Cape Town, which declared  PAIA invalid to the extent of its inconsistency with the Constitution by failing to provide for the recordal, preservation and reasonable disclosure of information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

The Constitutional Court further ordered Parliament to amend PAIA and take any other measure it deems appropriate to provide for the recordal, preservation and funding of political parties and independent candidates within a period of 18 months.

The Bill will address the Constitutional Court’s judgment by inserting a new Chapter - “Chapter 2A Publication and Availability of Certain Records of Political Parties” in PAIA, to regulate the recordal, preservation and availability of information in respect of private funding to political parties and independent candidates and to provide for matters connected therewith.

 The Bill gives an obligation to the accounting officer of a political party (which is defined to include an independent candidate) to create and keep records of any money paid or donated by persons or entities to a political party which is more than R100 000; any money lent to the political party; any money paid on behalf of a political party; assets, services or facilities provided to a political party; and any sponsorships provided to a political party. The records must be available on social media platforms on a quarterly basis. Furthermore, the Bill requires that the records be updated and be made available on social media platforms of the political party concerned two months before the election of the National Assembly or provincial legislature; municipal elections; or a referendum. The records must be kept for a period of at least five years after the records concerned have been created.