Is this the gag-order on free speech?
Objects of Act
2. The objects of this Act are to—
(a) regulate the manner in which State information may be protected;
(b) promote transparency and accountability in governance while recognising that State information may be protected from disclosure in order to safeguard the national interest of the Republic;
(c) establish general principles in terms of which State information may be handled and protected in a constitutional democracy;
(d) provide for a thorough and methodical approach to the determination of which State information may be protected;
(e) provide a regulatory framework in terms of which protected information is safeguarded in terms of this Act;
(f) define the nature and categories of information that may be protected from
destruction, loss or unlawful disclosure;
(g) provide for the classification and declassification of classified information;
(h) create a system for the review of the status of classified information by way of regular reviews and requests for review;
(i) regulate the accessibility of declassified information to the public;
(j) harmonise the implementation of this Act with the Promotion of Access to Information Act and the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act, 1996 (Act No. 43 of 1996);
(k) establish a National Declassification Database of declassified information that will be made accessible to members of the public;
(l) criminalise espionage and activities hostile to the Republic and provide for certain other offences and penalties; and
(m) repeal the Protection of Information Act, 1982 (Act No. 84 of 1982).
A bill (a draft law) can only be introduced in Parliament by a minister, a deputy minister, a parliamentary committee, or an individual MP.
Most bills are drawn up by a government department under the direction of the relevant minister or deputy minister. This kind of bill must be approved by the Cabinet before being submitted to Parliament. Bills introduced by individual MPs are called private members’ bills.
Before it can become a law, a bill must be considered by both houses of Parliament. Certain bills which affect provinces may first be introduced in the NCOP. All other bills are first introduced in the National Assembly. Once it is introduced, the bill is referred to the relevant committee. The bill is published in the Government Gazette for public comment unless it is very urgent. It is debated in the committee and amended if necessary. If there is great public interest in a bill, the committee may organise public hearings. Once it has decided on its version of the bill, the committee submits it to a sitting of the house for further debate and a vote. A bill could be referred back to a committee for more work before a vote is taken. The bill is then referred to the other house for its consideration. If the bill pass through both the National Assembly and the NCOP, it goes to the President for assent. Once it has been signed by the President, it becomes an Act of Parliament – a law of the