Durban - The Right2Know (R2K) campaign has called on the eThekwini municipality to postpone the adoption of the proposed amendments to the Rules of Order which the organisation say constitute an attack on media freedom.
Members of the non-profit organisation were on Thursday expected to hold a protest before the full council sitting which, among other items will consider the adoption of the amendments.
The rules, if adopted, will allow the chairperson of Exco to close some meetings to the media and the public if certain information that is deemed sensitive is to be discussed.
The rules will also bar any person present during a committee or council meeting using any electronic device to communicate information relating to a matter being discussed in that meeting.
Furthermore, members of the media will be barred from using any device to record the proceedings “without the necessary permission of the Speaker or chairperson of Exco”.
R2K spokesperson Biko Mutsaurwa said the proposed amendments were an attack on media freedom and violated the public’s right to access information, and thus curtailed the public’s ability to hold the municipality accountable.
“By no means should the public, including the media, be excluded from meetings of the council. Should there be special circumstances that warrant closed-door deliberations, these should be announced and debated in an open council meeting before deliberations commence,” he said.