14 Nov 2011

South African Protection of State Information Bill Raises Concerns

Recent developments concerning the appreciation of the controversial Protection of State Information Bill in the South African Parliament have raised further concerns about transparency and freedom of information in the country.

The bill has been subject to strong criticism since its introduction in 2010. Opposers have claimed that it is undemocratic and that it goes against the Protection of Access to Information Act already in place in South Africa’s legal framework.

After some alterations to the most polemic provisions in its original version, the bill has been again withdrawn from the National Assembly for further consultations. Nevertheless, a committee to conduct consultation procedures was formed exclusevily with members from the governing party, leading to concerns from the opposition that the consultation process will not be open to the participation by the public and other political parties.

A Swiss Chamber representing swiss companies in Southern Africa has also express its concerns about the impact of the government’s efforts to push the bill through on the business environment in the country, which has already been negatively affected by recent corruption scandals.

Read the full article ‘Info Bill will hide corruption’ on iol.co.za. The picture shown above is also featured in the article and is credited to Reuters.