The Board of the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC), at its meeting on 28 October 2010, added its voice to the growing call from a wide range of organisations for the withdrawal of the Protection of Information Bill.

The CHEC Board acknowledged the statement of the Stellenbosch University Senate (2 September 2010) which highlighted the fundamental flaws in the proposed legislation which, if promulgated in its current form, is likely to be detrimental to teaching and research in higher education through the restriction of access to and the free flow of information.

An earlier statement by Dr Max Price on behalf of the University of Cape Town (22 August 2010) had called for the redrafting of the Bill, the function of which ‘should be to ensure a balance between the country’s security interests and the full protection of the rights of the public to knowledge and access to information, as enshrined in the Constitution’.

CHEC supports the appeals made to the Government to redraft the Bill, taking into account the objections that have been raised and hopes that this process will include full public consultations.