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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

42. Economic interests and financial welfare of Republic and commercial activities of public bodies

 

 

1) The information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if its disclosure would be likely to materially jeopardise the economic interests or financial welfare of the Republic or the ability of the government to manage the economy of the Republic effectively in the best interests of the Republic.

 

2) The information referred to in subsection (1) includes, without limiting the generality of that subsection, information about—
a) a contemplated change in, or maintenance of, a policy substantially affecting the currency, coinage, legal tender, exchange rates or foreign investment;
b) a contemplated change in or decision not to change—
i) credit or interest rates;
ii) customs or excise duties, taxes or any other source of revenue;
iii) the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;
iv) government borrowing; or
v) the regulation of prices of goods or services, rents or wages, salaries or other incomes; or
c) a contemplated—
i) sale or acquisition of immovable or movable property; or
ii) international trade agreement.

 

3) Subject to subsection (5), the information officer of a public body may refuse a request for access to a record of the body if the record—
a) contains trade secrets of the State or a public body;
b) contains financial, commercial, scientific or technical information, other than trade secrets, the disclosure of which would be likely to cause harm to the commercial or financial interests of the State or a public body;
c) contains information, the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected—
i) to put a public body at a disadvantage in contractual or other negotiations; or
ii) to prejudice a public body in commercial competition; or
d) is a computer program, as defined in section 1(1) of the Copyright Act, 1978 (Act No. 98 of 1978), owned by the State or a public body, except insofar as it is required to give access to a record to which access is granted in terms of this Act.

 

4) The information referred to in subsection (2)(c)(i) includes, without limiting the generality of that subsection, information about an agreement, or contemplated agreement, to transfer any interest in or right to shares in the capital of a public body to any person which is not a public body referred to in paragraph (a) or (b)(i) of the definition of "public body" in section 1.

[Sub-section (4) substituted by section 35(a) of Act 42 of 2001.]

 

5) A record may not be refused in terms of subsection (3) insofar as it consists of information—
a) already publicly available;
b) about or owned by a public body, other than the public body to which the request is made, which has consented 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, carried out by or on behalf of a public body, and its disclosure would reveal a serious public safety or environmental risk.

 

6) For the purposes of subsection (5)(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.

 

7) If a request for access to a record contemplated in subsection (5)(c) is granted and the testing or other investigation was carried out by or on behalf of the public body from which the record is requested, the information officer must at the same time as access to the record is given, provide the requester with a written explanation of the methods used in conducting the testing or other investigation.