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The most recent notice of exemption confirming the extension until December 2020 can be located in Government Gazette Notice 39504, No 1222 (11 December 2015).

Click here to access the notice.


The SAHRC received notice on 26 November 2015 from the office of the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services confirming that the Minister has "decided to further exempt private bodies from compiling the Manual contemplated in section 51(1) of PAIA for a period of five years with effect from 1 January 2016."

The notice of exemption is yet to be gazetted. The Commission will make same available as soon as it has been published.

If a manual has already been prepared by an exempted private body, there is no need to submit the manual to the SAHRC. However, we encourage these private bodies to upload the manual on their website and make it available at their office/s.


1.    Government notice 34914 remains applicable.
2.    NO FEES are payable to the Commission for submission of your manual.
3.    ALL exempted private bodies must still comply with ALL other provisions of PAIA.
4.    All private bodies are still encouraged to compile manuals and make copies available at their office/s and on their website (if they have one).


The Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA) creates a framework for the right of access information (as enshrined in section 32 of the Constitution). The purpose of PAIA is to promote a culture of transparency, accountability and good governance in the private (and public) sectors. PAIA places specific compliance requirements on the private sector (and state institutions).

PAIA gives a requester the right to lodge a request for information with the information officer (head) of a private body.

•    A private body is defined as follows in PAIA:

“(a) a natural person who carries or has carried on any trade, business or profession, but only in such capacity;
(b) a partnership which carries or has carried on any trade, business or profession; or
(c) any former or existing juristic person”

•    PAIA defines the head of a private body as:

“the chief executive officer or equivalent officer of the juristic person or any person duly authorized by that office….”


In terms of section 51 of PAIA, private bodies must within six (6) months of coming into existence, submit an information manual to the SAHRC.

To comply with section 51 of PAIA, the head of a private body must:

•    compile a section 51 manual - a roadmap to accessing information from the company (downloadable generic template)
•    effect material changes, if any, each time these occur and resubmit the manual to the SAHRC
•    make the manual available as prescribed in PAIA at the company offices and on their website;
•    must annex a prescribed request form C to the manual and also make request forms available on the website and at the company’s premises;
•    after compilation, the manual must be signed by the head of your organisation (initialled on every page and a full signature on the last page)
•    submit the manual to the SAHRC

Note: there are penalties for non-compliance (see section 90 of PAIA)

The manual must contain the following information:

•    details of the company’s postal, email and street address, fax and phone number
•    description of available records generated by the company, stating those which are automatically available and those that are available on request through PAIA.
•    outline the request procedure in terms of PAIA;
•    state who the head of the company is (the CEO of a company is usually the information officer in terms of PAIA)
•    stipulate the fees chargeable to requesters, as prescribed in terms of PAIA
•    remedies available to requesters if their request for information is refused
•    details to facilitate requests for access to records

Completed manuals MUST ONLY be sent to section51.paia@sahrc.org.za.

Note: Manuals sent to any other email addresses will not be acknowledged. Considerable waiting periods are applicable where manuals are posted and / or hand delivered.

Certain private bodies are currently exempt from submitting a manual to the SAHRC until 31 December 2015)

-    In terms of Government notice no.34914, certain private bodies are exempt from compiling and submitting information manuals to the SAHRC in terms of section 51 of PAIA. The DOJCS extended this exemption from 31 December 2011 to 31 December 2015.

-    In terms of the Government notice no.34914, certain private bodies MUST still submit their manuals in terms of section 51 of PAIA to the SAHRC. These private bodies are those which operate in specific sectors, with 50 or more employees OR operate in specific sectors and have an annual turnover equal to or exceeding specific amounts. The particular sectors and turnover amounts are listed below:



in millions ZAR


50 or more


Mining and Quarrying

50 or more



50 or more


Electricity, Gas, Water

50 or more



50 or more


Retail, Motor Trade and Repair Services

50 or more


Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents, and Allied Services

50 or more


Catering, Accommodation and other Trade

50 or more


Transport, Storage and Communications

50 or more


Financial and Business Services

50 or more


Community, Special and Personal Services

50 or more


How to read the schedule:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Is the private body a company in terms of the Companies Act?

Does the company operate within any of the sectors listed under column 1 of the schedule?

Does the company have 50 or more employees OR

Does the company have an annual turnover equal or more than the amount listed under column 2 of the schedule?

Step 1 and 2 are compulsory

If step 3 AND 4 both apply- The company must submit

If ONLY step 3 and not 4 applies- The Company must submit

If ONLY step 4 and not 3 applies- The Company must submit

Where step 3 and 4 DO NOT apply- The Company is exempt from complying

For more information, please refer to one of the following resources:

-      Frequently asked questions” section on this website

-        PAIA

-        Prescribed request form C for making a request

-        Prescribed fees

Contact details for enquiries only (NO submissions):

Tel: (011) 877 3825

Email addresses:

Ramadimeja Legodi: rlegodi@sahrc.org.za

Nomfundo Khulu: nkhulu@sahrc.org.za

Mpho Tshimane: mtshimane@sahrc.org.za










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