They’re telling me that I could be fined or go to jail if I don’t have one. Is this Manual something I need to have?

I’ve received a number of emails from business consultants trying to get me to buy an Access to Information Act manual from them. They’re telling me that I could be fined or go to jail if I don’t get it drafted. Is this something I need to get done?

appointing a new employee

A:

Section 51(1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act requires businesses to compile an Information Manual, and to lodge it with the Human Rights Commission. However, certain businesses are temporarily exempt from this requirement. You do not need to draft this manual if your business:

  • Employs less than 50 employees; and
  • Earns an annual turnover that is less than the amount specified in the government notice. See the table below.
Agriculture R6million
Mining and Quarrying R22,5million
Manufacturing R30million
Electricity, Gas and Water R30million
Construction R15million
Retail & Motor Trade & Repair Services R45million
Wholesale Trade, Commercial Agents & Allied Services R75million
Catering, Accommodation & other trade R15million
Transport, Storage & Communications R30million
Finance & Business Services R30million
Community, Special & Personal Services R15million

Note that if you employ more than 50 employees you will need to draft an Access to Info Manual, regardless of your turnover.

Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance in respect of your unique requirements.

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