30 June 2021

PAIA prescribes that every public and private body must publish an information manual to assist requesters who wish to access records

Johannesburg, 30 June 2021 – The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) that came into effect on 9 March 2001 gives people an opportunity to request information from public and private bodies. PAIA prescribes that every public and private body must publish an information manual to assist requesters who wish to access records, writes Viola Sigauke, SAICA Project Manager: Regulatory Reporting.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has been responsible for the promotion and enforcement of the rights protected by PAIA. Due to the amendment of PAIA, the responsibility will be moved to the Information Regulator (Regulator) as from 30 June 2021. However, there will be no obligation to submit the PAIA manual to the Regulator after 30 June 2021, as is currently the case where the manuals have to be submitted to the SAHRC. Public and private bodies will be required to have their PAIA manual on their website and it should be available at their available at their principal place of business upon request. The PAIA manual will also only be required to be submitted to the Information Regulator on request. The Regulator has stated that they have developed a PAIA manual template to assist public and private bodies and it will be published on their website.

According to Government Gazette No. 44003 published on 18 December 2020, the Minister of Justice under section 51(4) of the PAIA, provided an exemption to private bodies, including private companies with less than 50 employees or with a turnover of less than the amounts stipulated in the Schedule in the Notice from compiling the PAIA manual until 30 June 2021.The exemption did not extend to other type of companies. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services has extended the current exemption for development of a PAIA manual by a further 6 months up to 31 December 2021. The notice has not yet been gazetted, however a signed copy is available on the Information Regulator website.


The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 50 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants (CAs[SA]), as well as associate general accountants (AGAs[SA]) and accounting technicians (ATs[SA]), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

Chartered Accountants are highly valued for their versatile skill set and creative lateral thinking, that's why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ Chartered Accountants.

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