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Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000)

Part 2 : Access to Records of Public Bodies

Chapter 4 : Grounds for Refusal of Access to Records

36. Mandatory protection of commercial information of third party


(1) Subject to subsection (2), the information officer of a public body must refuse a request for access to a record of the body if the record contains—
(a) trade secrets of a third party;
(b) financial, commercial, scientific or technical information, other than trade secrets, of a third party, the disclosure of which would be likely to cause harm to the commercial or financial interests of that third party; or
(c) information supplied in confidence by a third party the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected—
(i) to put that third party at a disadvantage in contractual or other negotiations; or
(ii) to prejudice that third party in commercial competition.


(2) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (1) insofar as it consists of information—
(a) already publicly available;
(b) about a third party who has consented in terms of section 48 or otherwise in writing to its disclosure to the requester concerned; or
(c) about the results of any product or environmental testing or other investigation supplied by a third party and its disclosure would reveal a serious public safety or environmental risk.

[Section 36(2)(c) substituted by section 32 of Act No. 42 of 2001]


(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(c), the results of any product or environmental testing or other investigation do not include the results of preliminary testing or other investigation conducted for the purpose of developing methods of testing or other investigation.