02 April 2015

SAHA partners with local government in a pilot capacity-building project on PAIA

What are we currently doing?

While SAHA’s Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP) has in the past, often undertaken thematic capacity-building training on the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) by focussing on specific, targeted sectors, we have this year made a shift to focussing on using workshops to support the use of and compliance with PAIA at local government level. FOIP is therefore this year running a pilot capacity-building project targeting municipalities, particularly within the Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng Provinces. This is because access to information relevant to individuals and communities allows for a more efficient, participatory democracy, and there appears a need at the local government level for a better understanding of the duties created by PAIA, specifically around the proactive disclosure of such information.

Why is the local government training project important?

This black and white photograph of municipal workers carrying out repairs was taken by an unknown photographer. Date unknown. This photograph was digitised by Africa Media Online (AMO) in 2009. SAHA archival call number AL2547_11.3.1.


This project is important as local government is a key structure of government, in that it is the level of government most directly accountable to people for service delivery and it is at this point, that more participatory democratic processes take place. The overall objective of this pilot project is to improve access to information for marginalised communities through building the capacity of three municipalities in order to improve compliance with PAIA, and strengthen mechanisms for information provision to communities they serve which will in turn reinforce the relationship between municipalities and their communities.

Which municipalities have indicated that they’re on board?

SAHA is pleased to announce that the following municipalities have agreed to collaborate with SAHA in the pilot local government training project:

All the municipalities have shown great enthusiasm for the project with Makana Municipality’s Acting Municipal Manager, Miss Busisiwe Khumalo, stating that her municipality “welcome(s) this initiative”.

As SAHA we look forward to partnering with these local government departments and hope to see this training go some way towards improving compliance with PAIA, ensuring greater transparency and accountability and strengthening relationships between these municipalities and their communities.

This pilot project is generously funded by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa

Learn more about SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP)