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Promotion of Access to Information Act (Act 2 of 2000)

1  INTRODUCTION

Section 32 of the Constitution guarantees to everyone the right of access to information held by the state and other persons or institutions. The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (‘PAIA’) provides the framework and procedures for the exercise of the constitutional right to information. The South African Human Rights Commission (‘SAHRC’) plays a key role in the implementation of PAIA. All pertinent information about PAIA, including access to PAIA itself and regulations made under it, is available on the SAHRC’s website.

The University of South Africa is fully committed to the implementation of PAIA in a positive and proactive manner in order to ensure that information under its control is available and accessible, and thus to give effect to the letter and spirit of the fundamental right of access to information and of the constitutional principles governing public administration.

PAIA applies to all recorded information under the control of the University, and, if properly applied, will promote transparency, accountability and effective governance at the University. It goes without saying that an institution like UNISA will have a large and diverse number of records, some of which are publicly available and some of which are not. PAIA contains an elaborate set of provisions regulating the circumstances under which access to university records which are not publicly available must and may be refused.

Moreover, UNISA already has procedures in place for providing access to many of its records. As the intention of PAIA is to enhance access, not stultify it, the management of the University is currently working on procedures to ensure that the application of PAIA will achieve this purpose. 

2  INFORMATION OFFICER

In terms of PAIA, the Principal is the Information Officer (IO) of the University. In order to give optimal effect to PAIA, the IO may designate Deputy Information Officers (DIOs) in the University. This will be done in due course.

3  MANUAL

The University’s own PAIA manual is available on the University’s website at UNISA PAIA Manual.

4  REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Any request for access to records held by the University must be made on the prescribed form - Form A. The form is obtainable from the University Legal Advisor’s office (Room 12-17, OR Tambo Building, tel (012) 429-2551 or (012) 429-6795; fax (012) 429-8902, or at vwykdh@unisa.ac.za or coertejs@unisa.ac.za).

5  FEES

Fees are payable upon request for access to information - Form C. A request fee is a minimum fee payable for the submission of an application. This amount is currently R35,00 (thirty five rand) per request and is not refundable. Request fees are payable when submitting the request form. An additional deposit may in certain circumstances be levied, depending on the nature (volume) of the information requested, as well as the format in which it is requested. Access fees are payable when a request for access to a record is submitted, excluding a record that contains personal information of the requester. Please note that where at all possible, a quotation for the access fees will first be furnished to the requester.

Payment of fees can be done as follows:

6  PROCESS

The application form must be completed in full in accordance with the instructions thereon and must be accompanied by payment or proof of payment of the prescribed fees payable. Application forms can be handed in at the Office of the Legal Advisor, or faxed to (012) 429-8902, or mailed to:

The Information Officer
c/o The Legal Advisor
OR Tambo Building 12-17
PO Box 392
0003 UNISA.

On receipt of an application, the Information Officer will handle the request in terms of the provisions of PAIA.. The requester will be informed within 30 (thirty) days of receipt of the request whether the request has been granted or not. If a requester is dissatisfied with the outcome of not being granted a request, the requester can, within 60 days of being informed that the request was not granted, lodge an internal appeal. An appeal must be lodged in writing on a prescribed form obtainable - see Form B, also obtainable from the Information Officer, who will ensure that it is dealt with in terms of PAIA, and inform the applicant of the outcome thereof.

Any inquiries or complaints may be directed to the University Legal Advisor’s office (Room 12-17, OR Tambo Building, tel (012) 429-2551 or (012) 429-6795; fax (012) 429-8902, or at vwykdh@unisa.ac.za or coertejs@unisa.ac.za