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Access to Information

Everyone has the right to access information held by the government, and held by any other person in order to assert or protect their human rights. The right of access to information, also known as the right to know, is an important tool in a democracy because it is an enabling right - it helps people to realise other human rights, especially socio-economic rights. This makes it possible for citizens, under certain conditions, to access information from both the state and from private bodies, is also instrumental in combating corruption, encouraging transparency and accountability, and create promoting governance in our country.

The inclusion of the right to know section in the Bill of Rights led to the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 being passed in 2000. Allowing a citizen to know as much as possible helps them to know how to move forward on issues they have, or to realise when their rights are being violated. The Act allows citizens, under certain conditions, to access information from both public and private bodies. It is an especially important right for creating good governance in our country and moving our government from the previously very secret regime, to a more open and transparent one.



Everyone has the right to know.

Everyone has the right of access to ­

  • any information held by the state; and
  • any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.
National legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right, and may provide for reasonable measures to alleviate the administrative and financial burden on the state.



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