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SAHA - FOIP – PAIA Network

PAIA Network

The PAIA Civil Society Network (PAIA CSN) was established in November 2008 in response to the need for greater collaboration and cooperation amongst organisations and individuals working to achieve a culture of openness and accountability through the effective implementation of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) in South Africa.

The member organisations are committed to improving the implementation and usage of PAIA, raising awareness about the right amongst citizens, and working with bodies subject to the Act to improve understanding.

Members of the PAIA Civil Society Network

Active members

Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a NGO established in October 2009 to provide legal and related support to environmental CSOs and communities. Its mission is to advance environmental rights in South Africa, and its vision is to facilitate civil society participation in environmental governance that is stronger, more streamlined, and better legally and scientifically equipped. As part of its work, CER uses PAIA to promote transparency and accountability in envrionmental governance.

Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS)

The Centre for Applied Legal Studies is an independent organisation committed to promoting democracy, justice, equality and peace in South Africa and addressing and undoing South Africa's legacy of oppression and discrimination through the realisation of human rights for all South Africans. CALS undertakes research, conducts public education and training sessions and provides legal advice.

Corruption Watch

Corruption Watch is a non-profit organisation launched in January 2012. It aims to ensure that the custodians of public resources act responsibly to advance the interests of the public. By shining a light on corruption and those who act corruptly, Corruption Watch promotes transparency and accountability and protects the beneficiaries of public goods and services.

Khulumani Support Group

The Khulumani Support Group is a non-profit membership-based organisation formed in 1995 by survivors and families of victims of the political conflict of South Africa's apartheid past. Khulumani has an extensive community outreach programme, which includes PAIA education, and has used PAIA internally to inform its work regarding issues arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Open Democracy Advice Centre (ODAC)

The Open Democracy Advice Centre is a NGO which promotes openness and transparency in South Africa's developing democracy. Its primary aims are to foster a culture of accountability in the public and private sector and to assist people in South Africa to realise their human rights. It offers support and advice on two key pieces of legislation: PAIA and the Protected Disclosures Act.

Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM)

PSAM is a monitoring and research institute based at Rhodes University in Grahamstown which aims to improve public service delivery and the progressive realisation of constitutional rights by using various social accountability monitoring tools to monitor the public resource management cycle. PSAM has utilised PAIA to access numerous documents of the Eastern Cape Government to assist in its monitoring work.

South African History Archive (SAHA)

The South African History Archive (SAHA) is an independent human rights archive dedicated to documenting and providing access to archival holdings that relate to past and contemporary struggles for justice in South Africa. SAHA’s Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP) is dedicated to using South Africa's Promotion of Access to Information Act,2000 (PAIA) in order to extend the boundaries of freedom of information and to build up an archive of materials released under the Act for public use.

Other members

African Centre for Biosafety

Black Sash

Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI)

Legal Resources Centre (LRC)

Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)

Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC)

uSizo Lwanamuhla

Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance (VEJA)

Friends of the PAIA Civil Society Network

South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

The South African Human Rights Commission is the national institution established under chapter nine of the Constitution to support constitutional democracy. The SAHRC has oversight and monitoring responsibilities to ensure that public and private bodies fulfill their responsibilities in terms of section 32 of the Constitution and sections 14 and 51 of PAIA. Its specific responsibilities in relation to PAIA are outlined in sections 83-85 of the Act. The SAHRC also receives complaints in relation to decisions or the conduct of officials under PAIA.