Promotion of Access to Information

The Department of Defence and Military Veterans fully complies with the Promotion of Access to Information Act and are prepared to assist you with any request you make in terms of this Act.

The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act 2 of 2000) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The purpose of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (often referred to as “PAIA”) is to give effect to section 32 of the Constitution. Section 32 provides for “the right of access to information” and states that “everyone has the right of access to any information held by the State and to information held by another person that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.”

The motivation for giving effect to the right of access to information is to foster a culture of transparency and accountability both in Public and Private Bodies; and to promote a society in which the people of South Africa have effective access to information, to enable them to more fully exercise and protect all their rights. Examples of “Public Bodies” include National and Provincial Government Departments, Municipalities and Parastatals (e.g. Eskom, Telkom).

Examples of “Private Bodies” include a natural person or partnership that carries on trade, business or profession; and a former or existing juristic person.

Any information or records, including personal information, held by the Department or its officials. It does not matter when that information or record came into existence.

To have a sense of the kind of information you may request, please look at the PAI Manual from the Deputy Information Officer of the Department.

The Act is limited, therefore your request may be refused in certain cases (see, sections 7, 12 and Chapter 4 of PAIA). For example, you may not be given access to information under the following circumstances:

  • Information or records about another person or entity, subject to access on these records being approved by such third parties especially if information was given to the Department or Public Body on confidentiality or privacy basis.
  • If the record is requested for the purpose of criminal or civil proceedings, where the criminal or civil proceedings have commenced. If such information is obtained, it may not be used in a court of law unless the court thinks that the exclusion of such information will be detrimental to the course of justice.
  • The records of Cabinet and its Committees, and those records of an individual member of Parliament or of a Provincial Legislature in that capacity.

Please note that the PAIA is above any other Act or legislation that may prohibits or restricts you from having access to any information.

The Director-General of any National Government Department is the Information Officer. In the case of the Department of Defence the Secretary for Defence (Director-General) has appointed Deputy Information Officers to assist in the administration of the PAIA (the contact details of the Information Officer and Deputy Information Officers are found in the Manual).

Therefore, in order to request information you must fill-in and submit Form A to the Deputy Information Officer of the Department.

Please take note that the Deputy Information Officer must help and guide you through all the processes.

Ask the Deputy Information Officers to make a list of such information available to you, alternatively, you can also find it in the PAI Manual or at any Division of the department of Defence.

Unless the requested information is made freely available, you may be required to pay a “request fee” and an “access fee”. The Deputy Information Officers will advise you on whether or not you are required to pay any fees.

The Deputy Information Officer must provide you with a decision (either to provide or deny you access to the information or records) within 30days. The Deputy Information Officer may extend the period of 30 days by another period of 30 days, however only one extension is allowed.

The period may be extended under certain prescribed circumstances, for example where the request is for a large number of records or where the requested information is at an office elsewhere from the office of the Deputy Information Officer.

Should the Deputy Information Officer not provide you with a decision within 30 days (or within 60 days if there was an extension) he or she is regarded as having refused your request (deemed refusal). In this case of a “deemed refusal” you have a right to appeal to the Internal Authority (see below).

You have the right to appeal to the Internal Authority, who is the Minister of the Department of Defence. If you are still not satisfied with the decision of the Minister, you may then approach a Court of Law.

In order to lodge an appeal you must fill-in and submit Form B (Notice of an internal appeal) to the Department. The Deputy Information Officer must help and assist the requester in completing the form to lodge an appeal.

When requesting for information the Requester(s) must submit the following:

  1. The completed and signed Form A
  2. The copy of the Identity Document / Passport.
  3. The proof of payment of the Request fee (if applicable).

The “request fee” payable by every requester, other than a personal requester referred to in section 22(1) of the Act, is R35 The “access fees” referred to in section 22(7) of the Act (unless the requester is exempted under section 22(8)) and “fees for reproduction” referred to in section 15(3) of the Act, are as follows:

  1. for every photocopy of an A4-size page or part thereof R0.60
  2. for every printed copy of an A4-size page or part thereof R0.40
  3. held on a computer or in electronic or machine readable form for a copy in a computer-readable form on -
    1. stiffy disc R5
    2. compact disc R40
    1. for transcription of visual images, for an A4-size of part thereof R22
    2. for a copy of visual images R60
    1. for a transcription of an audio record, for an A4-size page or part thereof R12
    2. for a copy of an audio record R17
  4. The actual postal fee is payable when a copy of a record must be posted to a requester.

PROMOTION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION MANUAL FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE

The aim of this manual is to enable any member of the public to view the description of the records in the possession of the Department of Defence and contains procedures on how to obtain this information/records whether automatically available or not.

Request for access of record

The Director-General of any National Government Department is the Information Officer. In the case of the Department of Defence the Secretary for Defence (Director-General) has appointed Deputy Information Officers to assist in the administration of the PAIA (the contact details of the Information Officer and Deputy Information Officers are found in the Manual).

Therefore, in order to request information you must fill-in and submit Form ARequest for access of record to the Deputy Information Officer of the Department.

Notice of internal appeal

You have the right to appeal to the Internal Authority, who is the Minister of the Department of Defence. If you are still not satisfied with the decision of the Minister, you may then approach a Court of Law.

In order to lodge an appeal you must fill-in and submit Form B Notice of internal appeal (Notice of an internal appeal) to the Department. The Deputy Information Officer must help and assist the requester in completing the form to lodge an appeal.