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NCOP Seeks Comment on Promotion of Access to Information Bill

November 8, 2019

Parliament

8 November 2019

The national council of provinces (NCOP) seeks comment on the Promotion of Access to Information Amendment Bill.

The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence this week.

The bill was tabled in parliament at the beginning of November 2019.

The proposed legislation was drawn up by the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services.

The bill aims to:

• amend the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000, so as to provide for information on the private funding of political parties and independent candidates to be recorded, preserved and made available; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

A new section 52A is proposed focused on the publication and availability of certain records of political parties.

Political parties (including independent candidates) will be expected to create and keep records of any money paid or donated by persons or entities to a political party which is more than R100 000; any money lent to the political party; any money paid on behalf of a political party; assets, services or facilities provided to a political party; and any sponsorships provided to a political party. The records must be kept for at least five years after they have been created.

The records will need to be made available on a quarterly basis on the social media platforms of the political parties concerned.

The proposed legislation flows from a Constitutional Court decision in 2018 that declared the act invalid as it did not provide for recording, preserving and making information available about private funding of political parties and independent candidates.

Parliament was ordered to make the necessary amendments.

The select committee on security and justice invites comment on the bill until 22 November 2019.

It calls on stakeholders to restrict comments to the affected clauses in the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 and the matter the bill seeks to remedy.