The Right2Know campaign welcomes the announcement that the ANC Parliamentary caucus intends to extend the deadline on the Protection of Information Bill to 23 September 2011. It is clear that mounting public pressure has forced those behind the Bill to revise their position.
What remains to be seen is whether this extension will be coupled with a renewed spirit of openness, precision and proper deliberation on the demands made by civil society and communities across the country. The real test of parliamentarians’ commitment to protecting and advancing information rights will be their engagement with the Right2Know’s seven demands.
There is an enormous amount of work to be done to bring the Bill in line with the principles of transparent and open democracy. It remains to be seen if our MPs have discovered the political will to do that work.
The Right2Know campaign continues to build the civil society coalition of over 400 organisations behind these demands. To date, nearly 20,000 people have joined the campaign as individuals. If parliamentarians cannot bring the Secrecy Bill in line with these demands, the Bill must be withdrawn and redrafted from scratch, with proper and meaningful public participation.
On Friday 24 June, the day the Secrecy Bill would have been finalised, Right2Know will be picketing the Ministry of State Security in Gauteng.
For comment please contact:
072 672 5468
R2K Western Cape
083 686 2554
072 429 4086
083 871 7549
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