26 May 2012

Access to information community training in Sebokeng

Participants at the workshop considering the information needs of their community.

On 26 May 2012 SAHA and the Right2Know Campaign conducted an awareness-raising session on access to information in the community of Sebokeng, in the Vaal.

The session focussed on raising awareness of the right to information and the relevance of the right to struggles faced in the community. The participants included community leaders and representatives from community based organisations.

Records previously obtained by SAHA from the local municipality using the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) were shared with the participants, highlighting how access to information can be used to gain knowledge to help community members to assert their socio-economic rights. (The material obtained by SAHA haved been archived in our archival collection: AL2878_B01.19 - Freedom of Information Programme Collection.)

Participants were then asked to identify issues they face in their community and how they could use access to information to assist them in addressing those issues. The issues identified included access to housing and education, environmental pollution and land rehabilitation, and the recruitment and retrenchment practices of large companies operating in the community.

SAHA will now make access to information requests under PAIA to obtain the information identified by the participants. Once that information has been obtained, SAHA and R2K will again meet with members of the community to share the information and to identify strategies for utilising the information to help the community assert their socio-economic rights and address challenges in their community.

Read more about the work of SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme