The search is on to expose the nation’s top 10 secrets

The Right2Know campaign is compiling a list of South Africa's top 10 secrets in consultation with communities countrywide.

The idea is to highlight the dangers of the Protection of Information Bill by asking communities about secrets they would like disclosed.

The campaign, which culminates on Freedom Day, April 27, takes place during a hiatus in Parliament's processing of the Bill. The ad hoc committee is expected to present a report in June. The campaign calls for the legislative process to begin afresh, informed by public
consultation.

R2K has held meetings in Soweto, Sebokeng, Harrismith and Durban. It has emerged that community members often know of their right to information, but do not know how to enforce it.

In Sebokeng residents said they had struggled to gain access to their medical records. Others said they had been retrenched from local factories and had tried for years to obtain compensation for industrial health problems.


"A couple of hundred people came to the [Sebokeng] meeting. Environmental issues, pollution and health were big issues," said Dale McKinley, R2K national working group member.

The way party lists were composed was also a "secret" of deep concern to residents. "How did certain names get on the lists? People wanted more transparency," noted Jayshree Pather, of R2K's Gauteng regional group.

In the Free State the main concern was the unexplained proposal to close the N3. Said Harrismith resident Tshepo Masilowane: "We already have ghost towns because there is so much unemployment. If they close the N3, a source of business and income for many people will go."

R2K's KwaZulu-Natal coordinator, Quinton Kippen, said that the biggest issue for those who attended the Durban meeting was not knowing how to access information.

Glenda Daniels serves on the National Working Group of the Right2Know campaign.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Glenda Daniels
Guest Author

Related stories

The Portfolio: Tommy Busakhwe

Photographer Tommy Busakhwe, a participant in the Communities of the Kalahari Advocacy Project, uses his camera to tell stories of home, land and the people who live and work on it

Rights group wins court bid against Engen

The Right2Know Campaign has been allowed to join a court case against Engen, which used the Regulation of Gatherings Act to ban protests outside its Durban refinery

Durban smokestacks back in court

Engen will oppose the application by civil rights nonproft Right2Know to be a friend of the court in the precedent-setting case

ANC and the state step back from taking action against Zulu king’s land trust

Despite alleged abuses of power and people’s trust, the ANC appears to have abandoned plans to reform the controversial Ingonyama Trust Board

Low-income black women hardest hit by noncommunicable diseases

Food apartheid is causing increasing rates of noncommunicable diseases among low-income black women

‘Boris the Baby Bot’: The little book about big data

Boris the BabyBot has been dreamt up by researcher and writer Murray Hunter, who focuses on surveillance and data privacy
Advertising

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Fifteen witnesses for vice-chancellor probe

Sefako Makgatho University vice-chancellor Professor Peter Mbati had interdicted parliament last month from continuing with the inquiry

Constitutional Court ruling on restructuring dispute is good for employers

A judgment from the apex court empowers employers to change their workers’ contracts — without consultation

Audi Q8: Perfectly cool

The Audi Q8 is designed to be the king in the elite SUV class. But is it a victim of its own success?

KZN officials cash in on ‘danger pay for Covid-19’

Leadership failures at Umdoni local municipality in KwaZulu-Natal have caused a ‘very unhappy’ ANC PEC to fire the mayor and chief whip
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday