28 September 2011

Paper Wars: Access to Information in South Africa – now available to download.

Edited by Kate Allan and published by Wits University Press, this publication reflects upon the work SAHA has done around testing the parameters of South Africa's freedom of information legislation, the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

Readers will gain insight into some of the difficulties information activists and requesters encountered as they attempted to put South Africa's constitutional right of access to information into practice.

In her own words, the editor and previous SAHA Freedom of Information Programme Coordinator, Kate Allen explains, "What makes the book a useful resource, and FOIP an effective tool for change, is that SAHA does not limit its exploration to PAIA requests. SAHA's positioning as a human rights organisation with archival competence in an academic setting gives it a comparative advantage that enables it to authoritatively speak to the broad range of issues arising from the use of and dialogue around access to information laws."

Tammy O'Connor, SAHA's Advocacy and Training Outreach Officer, says, "The timing of the free release of this book is incredibly important. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of PAIA, prompting a call by civil society for the government to review the legislation to address implementation issues that have hindered the realisation of the right to information in South Africa. The insight of key activists in relation to the practical and legal challenges associated with using PAIA captured in 'Paper Wars' evidences the desperate need for a review of PAIA."

The free release of this publication also coincided with International Right To Know Day, the 28th of September, a demonstration that further confirms SAHA's commitment in archiving and disseminating useful information that plays a key role in developing South African society as far as access to information is concerned.

Read more about International Right To Know Day

Download Paper Wars