PAIA stands for the Promotion of Access to Information Act and is commonly known as PAIA. The PAIA Act 2 of 2000 opens a door to gain access to information held by public and private bodies. All companies or rather organizations in South Africa must comply with the Act.

Information Regulator

Section 32 of the Constitution states that “Everyone has a right of access to any information held by the state and any information held by another person that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights.”


PAIA came into effect on the 9th of March 2001.

PAIA Objectives

  • PAIA promotes a thorough understanding, accountability, transparency and effective governance of all public and private bodies.
  • It encourages openness as well as ensuring that the state promotes a human rights culture and social justice
  • Scrutiny and participation in decision making by public bodies is enforced
  • To establish voluntary and mandatory mechanisms (Procedures to effectively offer the right of access to information quicker, cheaper and effortlessly)

Who regulates PAIA?

PAIA is regulated by SAHRC, which stands for the South African Human Rights Commission; however, this will change to Information Regulator as soon as POPI commences. In 2013 the former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, signed the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) into law.

The commencement date of POPI is to be determined by the President. POPI establishes an Information Regular (IR) and is an independent body that will be accountable to the National Assembly of Parliament.

For more information visit Michalsons and SAHRC

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