To give effect to the constitutional right of access to any information held by the State and any information that is held by another person and that is required for the exercise or protection of any rights; to provide that the Information Regulator, established in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013, must exercise certain powers and perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
• the system of government in South Africa before 27 April 1994, amongst others, resulted in a secretive and unresponsive culture in public and private bodies which often led to an abuse of power and human rights violations;
• section 8 of the Constitution provides for the horizontal application of the rights in the Bill of Rights to juristic persons to the extent required by the nature of the rights and the nature of those juristic persons;
• section 32(1)(a) of the Constitution provides that everyone has the right of access to any information held by the State;
• section 32(1)(b) of the Constitution provides for the horizontal application of the right of access to information held by another person to everyone when that information is required for the exercise or protection of any rights;
• and national legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right in section 32 of the Constitution;
AND BEARING IN MIND THAT—
• the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil, at least, all the rights in the Bill of Rights which is the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa;
• the right of access to any information held by a public or private body may be limited to the extent that the limitations are reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom as contemplated in section 36 of the Constitution;
• reasonable legislative measures may, in terms of section 32(2) of the Constitution, be provided to alleviate the administrative and financial burden on the State in giving effect to its obligation to promote and fulfil the right of access to information;
AND IN ORDER TO—
• foster a culture of transparency and accountability in public and private bodies by giving effect to the right of access to information;
• actively 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 of their rights.
[Long title amended by section 110 of Act No. 4 of 2013]