PAIA Manual

PAIA Manual What you need to know?

PAIA Manual What you need to know?


Not submitting the manual will constitute non-compliance with legislation and can be seen as a criminal offense punishable by imposing a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years.

Request PAIA Manual

The Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000 became effective on the 9th of March 2001. All private bodies MUST compile a manual on how to access their records in terms of section 14 and 51 of the Act.

This manual is to allow the Human Rights Commissioner and the general public access to information pertaining to business operations in South Africa (Government Gazette 20852).

The manual must consist of:

  1. A preamble – general introduction to the act.
  2. Introduction to private body – summary of activities conducted by business, trade or profession.
  3. Details – complete details of entity.
  4. Official guide – containing information required by a person wishing to exercise or protect any right in terms of this act.
  5. Information available – statutory company or close corporation information, accounting records, statutory employee records, health and safety, property, agreement and contracts etc.
  6. Information available on other legislation.
  7. Information automatically available – newsletters, pamphlets and other literature intended for public viewing.


Private bodies include:

  • Any natural person who carries on trade (sole trader);
  • Any partnership which carries on trade;
  • Any juristic person (including companies, close corporations, trusts, home owners association, body corporate, non-profit organisations) which carries on trade.

The exemption which was previously sent to you ends on the 31 December 2015. The deadline of 31 December 2015 therefore applies to all entities that meet the definition of a private body.

All private bodies who have previously submitted manuals have to submit updated manuals to ensure that the information is up to date.

An email copy of the manual must be submitted to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) as well as a hard copy signed by your information officer. The manual must also be published on the company’s website.

We can assist you in compiling the PAIA manual and submit the email and hard copies on your behalf.

Not submitting the manual will constitute non-compliance with legislation and can be seen as a criminal offense punishable by imposing a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 2 years.

Our Services

We will on your behalf:

  1. Prepare the manual in compliance with the Act;
  2. Lodge the manual with the South African Human Rights Commission, by email and post;
  3. Provide you with an electronic file to be uploaded on your website;
  4. Provide a bound copy of the manual for you to retain at your place of business as required by the Act.


Should you wish that we assist you in the preparation and submission of this Act, we require the following:-

  1. A consent letter signed by a Sole Trader/Partner/Trustee/Member/Director, authorising us to prepare and submit the Act on their behalf including information required.
  2. Information sheet to be completed for use in completion of the manual.
  3. Representation letter on your letterhead.
  4. The applicable fee of R900 must be paid directly into our Bank Account, please complete request form as at the top of the page to receive relevant documentation an invoice for payment.
  5. Your manuals will be sent to you within 48 working hours, from receipt of documents and full payment.


NB – All completed forms and PAIA payments must be made before 15 December 2015.


Does this Act mean that anyone may now have access to my records?

The answer is a big NO!

The only person who has any right to request any access to any record of your business is a person who wishes to exercise or protect a right to which he or she is entitled. Such rights may be the result of a contract or may exist because of some Statute.

Rights may also come into existence as a consequence of the person having suffered damages due to the negligence or recklessness of another.

The Act is intended to encourage openness and to establish voluntary and mandatory mechanisms or procedures which give effect to the right of access to information in a speedy, inexpensive and effortless manner as reasonably possible and to promote transparency, accountability and effective governance of all public and private bodies by empowering and educating everyone to understand their rights in terms of the Act so that they are able to exercise their rights in relation to private bodies.

The Act does not create any additional rights – it is essentially intended to make it easier for someone who does have a right, to protect that right or exercise that right by making public the name of the contact person and details of the kinds of records a business holds.

The onus of proving that he or she has a right to such records lies with the requester. There are also many grounds for refusing access to any record.


PAIA Manual Request