25 May 2015

SAHA supports SAHRC capacity-building training workshop on PAIA

On the 12th of May 2015 SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP) participated in the South African Human Rights Commission’s (SAHRC) in-house capacity building training workshop for their advocacy officers. FOIP was invited to provide training on the use of our publications when training communities on how to use the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) in the exercise and protection of their rights.  

The workshop was well attended with advocacy officers from Gauteng, Limpopo, the Free State, Northern Cape, Western Cape, Mpumalanga, the North West and a provincial manager from KwaZulu Natal.

FOIP’s Training and Community Liaison Officer, Mr Bapate Ntikinca gave an insightful presentation, highlighting key aspects of and relevant examples in FOIP’s publications, while relaying some key tips for trainers. The presentation highlighted the importance of preparation, using a participatory approach, incorporating various ways of presenting the material and ensuring follow-up with participants.  

During the SAHRC’s workshop the advocacy officers highlighted how, often more than not, frustration within communities is the result of a communication breakdown between the communities and the municipalities. For example a shortage of water may be caused by an unreported burst pipe within the area. SAHA has identified a similar problem and is this year running a pilot project training local government on PAIA.

 While SAHA has resources specifically developed for training people on the use of PAIA it also has a number of resources focusing on using PAIA in a specific sector,such as housing and LGBTI issues, as well as resources focusing on using PAIA as an advocacy tool and a booklet for lawyers and paralegals looking at the key legal requirements of PAIA. These resources, and many others, are all downloadable for free from SAHA’s website.