The Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (Act No. 2 of 2000) is commonly referred to as PAIA. It is legislation in the Republic of South Africa allowing access to any information held by the State, and any information held by private bodies that is required for the exercise and protection of any rights. It applies specifically to South Africa, but is part of the global drive towards freedom of information. The Act is enforced by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
Section 32(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, determines that everyone has a right of access to any information held by the State. Section 32(2) of the Constitution provides for the enactment of national legislation to give effect to this fundamental right. PAIA is the national legislation contemplated in section 32(2) of the Constitution.
Section 9 of PAIA recognises that the right of access to information is subject to certain justifiable limitations aimed at, amongst others:
(a) the reasonable protection of privacy;
(b) commercial confidentiality;
(c) effective, efficient and good governance.