Tuesday, September 4, 2012

HRC welcomes steps to ensure Info Bill complies with the constitution

The SA Human Rights Commission welcomed the steps taken by Parliament to ensure the Protection of State Information Bill does not violate the constitution. 04 September 2012 | Citizen Reporter The commission has made numerous objections to the Bill and has stressed the supremacy of the Promotion of Access to Information Act as the enabling law that gives effect to the right of access to information. Deputy chairman of the commission, Pregs Govender, said the right of access to information is necessary for the fight against corruption and poverty. “We live in a society where the constitution upholds our right to in formation. Many communities feel they are left-out of government’s service delivery planning. “Against the backdrop of poverty, lack of efficient service delivery and corruption, we need to equip communities to assert their rights and confront a non-responsive government.” The National Council of Provinces met to de liberate on the Bill last week as it entered into the final stages for passage into law. The commission therefore called for the review of the Bill to in corporate earlier sub missions that have already been made to Parliament. Central to the concerns expressed by the commission in its sub missions were the impact of the Bill on freedom of expression, access to information, the lack of a reasonable publication defence and the inadequate protection for whistleblowers. Govender added: “It is important that the modest successes recorded in the 12 years of access to information practiced in South Africa are not eroded by the passage of a defective Protection of State Information Bill!" The Citizen - Comments by Sonny It is clear the ANC Government intended silencing the public outcry against its corruption, bias and dysfunctional service delivery! When does the ANC intend moving towards an equal, non-racist, and just society for all its Citizens?

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