• creating awareness of the right to information and its power as an enabling right that can be used to protect, promote and fulfil other human rights;
• empowering individuals and organisations to understand and utilise the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) as a strategic advocacy tool; and
• increasing compliance with, and the use of, PAIA.
Access to information is an essential element for a vibrant democracy. When implemented effectively, it facilitates transparency, accountability and good governance. It is an enabling right that, in principle, affords all people the opportunity to access information that can be used to protect, promote and fulfil other human rights.
Section 32(1) of South Africa's Constitution states that everyone has the right of access to any information held by public bodies and any information held by private bodies that is required for the exercise or protection of any right. PAIA is the national legislation which seeks to give effect to that constitutional entitlement.
In the furtherance of its goals, FOIP provides the following services:
• advice and guidance to researchers, individuals and organisations wishing to make PAIA requests;
• workshops aimed at raising awareness about the right to information and the important role that it can play in the achievement of advocacy goals and the protection of rights; and
• capacity building training aimed at increasing the capacity of NGOs to utilise PAIA as a strategic advocacy tool.
FOIP has developed a range of publications aimed at supporting individuals and organisations to raise awareness about, and utilise, the right to information:
PAIA Resource Kit
PAIA Workshop Guide
PAIA: Case Studies from Civil Society DVD and Guide
Accessing Information for Your Community
Accessing Information in the LGBTI Sector
LGBTI and Access to Information in Africa
If you would like assistance with submitting a request for access to information in terms of PAIA, please complete the PAIA request form as precisely and comprehensively as possible. Once we have received your completed form, the FOIP team will contact you to discuss the process of drafting and submitting a request to the relevant body on your behalf.
If you wish to submit a request for access to information held by SAHA, please consult our PAIA manual.