Access to Information Manual (PAIA) 2019

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This Manual has been compiled by the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (hereafter “the Municipality”) in terms of the provisions of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No 2 of 2000) (hereafter “the Information Act”) with the object to give effect to the constitutional right of access to information, and it will apply to all records of the Municipality as defined in the Information Act.

PROCEDURE TO REQUEST ACCESS TO RECORDS OF MUNICIPALITY

7.1 If a member of the public wishes to make a request for access to a record of the Municipality in
terms of the provision of the Information Act, a written request must be made to the Information Officer on the application form attached hereto as Annexure A.

A person who is illiterate or otherwise unable to make a request for access to a record because of a disability may make an oral request. The Information Officer must assist the requester with putting the request to writing. The Information Officer must also assist a person who requires reasonable assistance free of charge.

The language in which the requester wishes to obtain the record must be stated by the requester. If the record is not available in the language preferred by the requester, access may be granted in the language in which the record is available.

The application should provide sufficient information to enable the Information Officer to:

  • identify the records requested (including a description of the record, a reference number and any further particulars on the record); and
  • identify the requester, including all contact information.

The information should also enable the Information Officer to identify the form of access required by
the requester , for instance ;

  • whether the requester wishes to make a copy of a written or printed record or inspect the, record recordings, computer generated or
  • whether the requester wishes to view or copy visual images which may be photographs, slides, video recordings, images or sketches or obtain a transcription of the image or
  • whether the requester wishes to listen to a soundtrack or obtain a written or printed transcription of the soundtrack or
  • whether the requester wishes to obtain a printed copy of a computer or an electronic or machine readable from derived from the aforesaid.

7.2 The application form must be accompanied by the prescribed search fee listed in Annexure C of this manual. A person who is seeking information about himself or herself does not have to pay the initial fee, while a requestor other than a personal requester has to pay an initial fee of R 35-00 for a record. All requesters, except those who are exempted in terms of section 22 (8) (a) of the Information Act, must pay the required fees to obtain a record.

7.3 The requester will be given the required information, if available, within a reasonable time after receipt of the application form and prescribed fee.

7.4 The lnformation Officer may transfer a request where a record is not under the control or in the possession of the Municipality or where the subject matter is more closely connected with the functions of another public body or where the record contains commercial information in which another public body has a greater interest. The request will be transferred as soon as reasonably possible, but in any event within 14 days after the request is received. The Information Officer must notify the requester of the transfer as well as the reasons for the transfer and the period within which the request must be addressed.

7.5 If information is no longer available or cannot be found and all reasonable steps have been taken to find such a record, the Information Officer must, by way of an affidavit of affirmation notify the requester accordingly. Access may be deferred where a record is not yet vailable. The requester will be notified accordingly.

7.7 The Information Officer must decide within 30 days whether to grant the request. If the request is granted, a notice shall be send to the requester stating the following:

  • that the access fee, if any, must be paid upon being granted access
  • the form in which access will be given; and
  • that the requester may lodge an internal appeal with the Municipality or an application with a court against the access fee to be paid or the form in which access is to be granted.

7.8 If the request is not granted, the notice by the Information Officer must give adequate reasons for the refusal, excluding any reference to the content of the record and stating that the requester may lodge an internal appeal with the Municipality or application with a Court against the refusal of the request and the procedure to lodge an internal appeal or application.

7.9 The Information Officer may extend the period of 30 days in which to decide on the request if:

  • if it is for a large number or records and compliance would unreasonably interfere with the activities of the Municipality;
  • a search of collection of records in an office not situated in the same town or city as the Information Officer is required, and the Information Officer cannot reasonably be expected to complete the request within the initial 30 days;
  • consultations with other departments of the Municipality or with another public body are necessary or desirable and the Information Officer cannot be reasonably be expected to complete the consultations within the initial 30 days; or
  • the requester consents in writing to the extension.

If a period is extended, the Information Officer must within 30 days after the request is received, notify the requester of that extension and the reasons. The notice must state the period of extension as well as adequate reasons for the extensions. The notice must also state that the requester may lodge an internal appeal with the Municipality or an application with a court against the extension and the procedure (including the period) for lodging the application. The notice must also provide information on the procedure to be followed to lodge such an appeal or application.