ANC Chief Whip opens Info Bill debate to public
The ANC's chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, has established an Information Bill Committee.
His office says the committee will be responsible for coordinating public engagement with representatives from civil society, non-governmental and community-based organisations and interested individuals on the draft bill.
“Public meetings, the details of which will be communicated in due course, will be held in all the provinces to garner inputs from members of the public,” it says.
“This will ensure that we do not only listen to the views of well-financed lobby groups with means to travel to Cape Town, but also those of ordinary people in the remotest villages.”
The ANC Study Group on the Protection of State Information Bill will, on the other hand, consider both oral and written submission from interested parties in parliament.
“To this effect, the office of the chief whip has established a dedicated Information Bill Unit, which will serve as the secretariat to the study group.
“This unit is tasked with, amongst others, receiving and collating submissions on the draft bill for consideration.”
On September 20, the ANC parliamentary caucus decided to withdraw the Protection of State Information Bill from the parliamentary programme, pending further consultations with interest groups, civil society and individual members of the public.
The caucus says the need for further consultation on the bill, in addition to the extensive public engagement that has already taken place under the now dissolved parliamentary ad hoc committee, will afford particularly individuals and formations which are yet to have a say on the bill an opportunity to do so.
Submissions on the bill may be e-mailed to the unit or faxed to 086 7316 737.
They can also be posted to the ANC Information Bill Office, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, PO Box 15, Cape Town 8000.
Telephonic inquiries can be made to the Information Bill Office coordinator, S Ntushelo, at 021 403 2643.
You can also register comments on the official Facebook page; ‘African National Congress (Parliament)’.