SABC office makes key points list but not airports

The SABC office in Bhisho is listed by government as one of South Africa’s national key points, but neither East London nor Port Elizabeth’s airports have made the grade.

The list also includes Qunu, the village where former president Nelson Mandela grew up and where his final resting place is, and Nkandla, the homestead of President Jacob Zuma, which has come under intense scrutiny over its R246-million upgrade.

The list was released following Minister of Police Nkosinathi Nhleko’s capitulation to an order of the Gauteng High Court that he provide the list in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA).

The National Key Points Act provides for the minister of defence to take control of and secure a site that has been identified as a key point.

But the listing of the SABC office in Bhisho and the omission of both airports in the Eastern Cape are among discrepancies in the list which was published this week.

It raise questions about the criteria government has applied in determining what should constitute a key point.

Other sites in the Eastern Cape which are listed as key points are: the provincial legislature building in Bhisho; the Reserve Bank offices in East London and Port Elizabeth; the oil tank terminal in the Port of Ngqura, and the Grassridge electricity sub-station near Addo National Park.

The Union Buildings in Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town are recorded on the list, which is overseen by the minister of defence.

Other listed sites include provincial legislatures, ports and airports, power stations, fuel depots, water dams and pump stations, and telecommunications facilities.

The new Square Kilometre Array facility in the Northern Cape is also listed.

The release of the list followed court action by Right2Know and the South African History Archive.

Right2Know’s Murray Hunter said yesterday the organisation intended to publicise the list widely.

“But the next step is to call for the act to be repealed. We believe there is no place in our democracy for national key points and we’ll campaign to have the act scrapped, not amended.” According to the act, once a site is listed, no information may be published about security measures in place at the site.

This is widely interpreted to include even publishing a photograph.

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