More panic looms on the horizon. Here is the easy answer to the latest SA Govt small-business nonsense.
At issue is the Promotion of Access to Information Act. (PAIA)
It is the wrong name because Govt is actively using it to Prevent Access to Their Info. Most of the time they just ignore your request.
If you persist they claim that they do not have the info you want. And then ignore you.
If you show them where they have printed bits of that info on their official organs they tell you that they will dig into it. And then ignore you.
Bottom line, you get to take them to court, and lose.
Be that as it may, by midnight on 31 December 2015 you must produce a Section 51 manual, lodge it at the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) via email, mail them a paper copy, and keep a version of it on your website for the world to see.
The fines for not doing this range from zero to R10 million. The penalty stated depends who is trying to sell you their solution.
When this first broke wind in 2005 the incoming emailed manuals seized up all the SAHRC email servers.
Back then every manual was also to be printed in the Govt Gazette. It did not take long for someone to point out that the Govt Gazette was not able to print and deliver 100 million pages in September 2006.
That was about 5 pages for each of the 20 million businesses they said should do this. Neatly stacked that would be a pile of manuals 10km high. Maybe that’s why they need an entire village in KwaZulu Natal? The new manual needs at least six pages.
Folk who responded to that first deadline were still getting acknowledgements from the SAHRC seven months later.
Govt tried again in December 2011. Most folk ignored it so they extended the deadline at the last minute. Again.
Lawyers made oodles both times.
It’s back. This is the last, final, never to be repeated deadline. Or else…
I suggest that you deal with it now. You can invest R199 to answer a few questions and sort it out in 30 minutes. Contrast that with the hassle of waiting until the last minute.
Your Govt expects you to comply if you trade as a sole prop, a trust, a company, a partnership, an Inc, and anything in between. Or have ever done so.
Just to be clear, the site I suggest you use is not mine. Nor do I get paid in any way for recommending you use it. But I have referred a few clients to them, and those clients have come away happy.
Go here to sort it out. Then you can ignore the noise as it rises to its predictable crescendo towards the end of the year.
As a form of passive resistance, you might want to email to them a second copy of your Section 51 manual between Christmas and New Year. Just in case. If they query why you may have done this ask them to complete the now-needed paperwork, as well as submit the now-needed payment of R60 for you to process their request.
And then ignore them.