27 September 2017

Promotion of Access to Protest Information

The right to protest in practice is heavily dependent on the proactive availability of information. This is because the Regulation of Gatherings Act (RGA) places strict guidelines on how to exercise the right to protest. The RGA places particular emphasis on the submission of a notice of gathering, to the "Responsible Person" (a role designated in terms of the RGA) within the municipality that has jurisdiction. Alternatively, if it is not possible to give notice to the Responsible Person, notice must be given the relevant "Authorised Member" of the South African Police Service (SAPS) within the jurisdiction of the municipality (this also is a role designated in terms of the RGA).

This means that to validly exercise your constitutional right to protest, you will require access to information (like names and contact details) that are required to be able to give notice. Unfortunately this information - who the Responsible Person / Authorised Member is and what their contact details are - is not made proactively available by municipalities, which results in protesters having to jump through hoops to obtain the necessary information. Fortunately SAHA has submitted numerous access to information requests (or "PAIA Requests") using the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, to obtain the information. We were able to source quite a lot of responsible officers' contact details including the responsible officers of almost all the metropolitan municipalities. In addition a PAIA request to the South African Police Service resulted the release of records that contain the contact details of every authorised member of the SAPS in the country.

Below links to pages on the SAHA PAIA Tracker for every municipality that granted full access to this information, as well as to the page for the SAPS. At the bottom of each page there is a link to the actual records that contain the relevant contact details:

Steve Tshwete Municipality

Naledi local Municipality

Dihlabeng Municipality

Emfuleni Municipality

Umdoni Municipality

Nkosi Langalibalele Municipality

Kheis Local Municipality

Bergrivier Municipality

Cape Algulhas Municipality

Overberg District Municipality

Knysna Municipality

Mossel Bay Municipality

Hessequa Municipality

George Municipality

Polokwane Municipality

Blue Crane Route Municipality

Thaba Chweu municipality

Mbombela Municipality

Hantam Municipality

Karoo Hoogland Municipality

Langeberg Municipality

Breede Valley Municipality

Fezile Dabi District Municipality

Mangaung Metro Municipality

EThekwini Metropolitan Municipality

City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality 

City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality

Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality 

Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality

South African Police Service authorised member list