ANC makes concessions on info bill

2012-08-29 12:01

Cape Town - The ANC has announced further concessions on the controversial protection of state information bill.

When the National Council of Provinces ad hoc committee dealing with the bill resumed its deliberations on Wednesday, the ruling party agreed to delete two bitterly contested clauses.

The first was the provision that the bill would trump the Promotion of Access to Information Act (Paia).

The second concession was the removal of strict penalties for disclosing any state security matter.

The Paia clause was strongly criticised by the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), among others, as being unconstitutional.

The second concern was that the country could be turned into a "security state".

Political parties in Parliament have spent the past few weeks in private discussions in an effort to reach consensus on the bill.

Wednesday's meeting was the first since August 7, when committee chairperson Raseriti Tau adjourned proceedings, saying the process of party-to-party engagements would continue in an attempt to try and reach agreement.

"We're not that far apart and that's a good sign," he said at the time.

The committee has a deadline of September 30 to consider proposed amendments, before having to report on the bill to the NCOP.

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-08-29 12:09

    Just scrap the entire bill... This alterations clearly shows that the whole thing was not properly planned, wasting our monies on consultation.

      Squeegee - 2012-08-29 12:20

      Keep chipping away until nothing is left of this evil Act...

      dewalds3 - 2012-08-29 12:46

      This is the communist way - Give me everything you have or there will be problems. Okay - to avoid problems, I will settle for half of what you have. Until the next round...

      procold2 - 2012-08-29 13:02

      what a waste of time and money, here are more things to worry like rebuilind this country, scrap it completly - 2012-08-29 13:24

      Hi, Peter. I totally agree with you: This proposed piece of legislation wasn’t well thought through; but what is? So many of the ANC’s tenders, appointments, policies and bills are failing legal requirements. The country does however need to rewrite our old apartheid secrecy act but in the total opposite way that the ANC proposes. We need one that is more open and more transparent so we the electorate knows what is going on in government. Even now, without the new Secrecy Bill, the ANC hides behind classified status.

      adam.gardener.12 - 2012-08-29 17:39

      What a waste of money and resources this bill has cost. Put it into the e-toll folder, bury it, and avoid further embarrassment. F##king useless anc.

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-08-29 12:11

    the parties should not be above citizens...what do we say? we dont need that bill thats is not a matter of passing or removing parts of it.

      linds.ronhouse - 2012-08-29 14:53

      You're clearly not informed about the background. There is an existing act passed by the apartheid government in 1982. It needs to be replaced and this bill, when passed, will do that. So we do need it. Every state must protect certain information (if you dont believe me then ask Julian Assange). This bill seeks to regulate the classification and declassification of state information. It is absolutely necessary.

      linds.ronhouse - 2012-08-29 14:59

      Official Secretes Act of 1982

  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-08-29 12:15

    If the access to information bit has been removed then the rest of it is meaningless. Just scrap the entire thing

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-08-29 12:18

    the amount of circles the anc go in they should adopt the olympic emblem as their flag

  • JK - 2012-08-29 12:20

    Scrap the bill!

  • gary.williams.7186896 - 2012-08-29 12:23

    It should be called the "Hide ANC Blatant Corruption Bill" It's not too long now before the people rise up and take the ANC Govt head on like Egypt, Libya & Syria, the masses are tired of living in shacks and being screwed.

  • wilhelm.grobbelaar - 2012-08-29 12:39

    Can we please now have a bill passed that normal citizens are exempt from being investigated. I mean whats good for one is good for another...

  • jaybee.reeds - 2012-08-29 12:44


      linda.drummond.503 - 2012-08-29 13:00

      Ssssssshhhhhh! Relax jaybee. No need to shout.

      andrew.surtees1 - 2012-08-29 13:12

      and its cause of idiots like u that we the people will fight this bill!

      garren.dare - 2012-08-29 17:02

      Same old 3rd world problem. Before an election you are all bleeding hearts, but boy! once you are in power democracy is out the door ala Mugs who is still there because "revolutionaries" simply cannot believe, yet alone accept that they've been thrown out on their collective arses ,not by any 3rd party , but by their own masses!

  • richard.russmann - 2012-08-29 12:44

    This bill just seems like the government has something to hide, and we all suspect/ know that they do. Because of the large majority in parliament the ANC enjoys, the free press is the ONLY opposition they have. And that is only to shout not to actually do anything. This bill just sounds like a very BAD idea.

      garren.dare - 2012-08-29 17:09

      Exactly. We are going the same way as the National Party of old. And fast.This bill has got INFO SCANDAL' written all over it. Viva ANC viva- but you seriously need to reform. The only way for the real ANC to rise again will be if you are voted out. That will happen a quite a bit sooner than you believe ,me thinks. Take a look around how suddenly 'one party' states are being returned to democracy. Even in our beloved SA

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-08-29 12:44

    Democracy in action!

  • andrew.surtees1 - 2012-08-29 12:51

    the cANCer needs to be treated, that is the only answer to our countries problem, the quicker we realize this the better! this bill is pointless and clearly we have seen how these bastard abuse their positions the poeple have entrusted them with, get ride of Zuma or vote for a new government! when that day comes and i have to protect my family from this rubbish government, i will glady pull the trigger to save my family and more!

  • Eterni80 - 2012-08-29 12:52

    THERE SHOULDN'T BE A BILL IN THE FIRST PLACE - only a government that has something to hide (and we all know that the ANC has whole mountains of fertilizer to hide) needs an 'information bill'

      linds.ronhouse - 2012-08-29 15:41

      Another severely ill-informed comment. Just give me one government that operates without any secretes. Every government must protect certain information in order to protect its citizens. Imagine if we all had access to police intelligence, police would no longer be able to plan and execute stings and other covert operations. So don't be silly. Ask Julian Assange if you think this is a joke.

      garren.dare - 2012-08-29 17:14

      To linds.ronhouse. I agree to an extent - we can't have it all.Police and Defence must be able to keep certain info under wraps. National Importance. But not this proposed bill- this represents the dark side of communism and autocracy. By the way, it's spelt s.e.c.r.e.t.s.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-08-29 13:06

    Some wisdom prevailed, but a 100% scrapping is the true response.

      andrew.surtees1 - 2012-08-29 13:20

      agreed and well said!

      linds.ronhouse - 2012-08-29 15:36

      So do you prefer the existing Official Secretes Act of 1982?

      garren.dare - 2012-08-29 17:22

      Linds. again. There are enough restrictions already in place as we speak.We do not need more (although if I was president and people called pictures of me with my genitals exposed 'art'- I would have to rethink.) Scrap this bill now. We waste a disgusting amount of money on these negative proposals , meanwhile the country is almost in flames ridden by poverty, unemployment, untreated HIV, ludicrous depths of raw corruption ( a sweet term for common criminal theft), racial hatred...need one continue?

  • hamilton.tspoon - 2012-08-29 13:31

    The party we voted for thinking will take us from apartheid to democracy is now working against our wills. The government led by ANC is democratic only when it suits them not the country. All I can say is ANC is not a democratic party, should they win over 70% of the seats in parliament they are going to change country's constitution and government will be autocracy.

      freddie.jones.58367 - 2012-08-29 14:11

      Unfortunately there is nothing democratic about the ANC. Have a look at this very reasoned article:

      steve.ritchie.739 - 2012-08-29 15:09

      Agreed Hamilton. The time to educate the voters is NOW.

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-29 14:26

    The people that created this bill is amongst the most highest forms of IDIOTS in existence.... The fact that OLD people are making rules for YOUNG people to live by is totally wrong... Its a FACT!! Old people live by old morals... so please just DIE out or retire... The old generation is typically running on Windows 95 where the younger generation is Running Apple.... ITS A FACT!!! Every year we bring out videos of showing how amazing we are as humans, every year we break world records over and over... the reality that we are amazing is true... But because of political structures and nonsense like this we are suppressed, and this is no way for us to live... Look at Apartheid... THANK YOU OLDER GENERATIONS YOU RACISTS!!! Now look who has to clean up your mess... So my point is, all these OLD IDIOTS are making new rules and new orders so that our children one day has to fix... we already have another education crisis... THANK YOU ANC for being NOTHING but an Image of LIES, CORRUPTION and oh wait... IDIOTS!!

  • tin.can.501598 - 2012-08-29 14:28

    A wise man once said....Information is the currency of democracy!

  • garren.dare - 2012-08-29 16:55

    It's an attempt to keep the corrupt clique that's running ANC in power. Scrap the bill and also get the best leaders of ANC into power then the bill would not have exposed it's ugly head. It would be a serious scar on our liberal democracy. Get your house in order ANC the country's patience has been exhausted. I do believe personal "art" depicting the president with genitalia exposed should be censored, even if he is a public figure. Cartoons depicting a shower-head - sure. You wanna be so powerful that comes with the territory

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