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Steamrolling of POIB through parliament heralds nothing positive for SA democracy

Could lead to a dark future

The trade union UASA is convinced that the entire nation expected that the ruling party would steam roll the Protection of State Information Bill (POIB) through parliament in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Today’s approval of the POIB spells huge dangers for what is left of the already dwindling democracy in our country. Not only was the bill approved without proper consultation with the public as was previously promised, but South Africans must realise that a dark future awaits us if important information is withheld by the state in future.

It will become impossible to make informed decisions on, for instance, political matters like elections. If we are no longer informed about corruption and other wrongdoing by the State and politicians up to the highest positions in our government, how will it be possible to make an informed choice between parties? It will also serve as a major deterrent for whistle-blowers for fear of being prosecuted, should they divulge sensitive  information.    

Without the free flow of information, often spurred on by investigative journalism, there can be no real democracy.

South Africa runs a very real risk of being grouped with other failed African economies where corruption and bribery are paramount.