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How Often are South African Gazettes Updated?

Oct 18, 2022 | Articles

How Often are South African Gazettes Updated?

Frequency of Publication, Subject Matter and Other Useful Facts about South African Gazettes

South African Gazettes onlineSouth African gazettes are published regularly and offer the nation’s citizens access to a written record of government activities and pertinent legal matters. While it might take months or even years to finalise every fine detail of a parliamentary bill, it will invariably take no more than a week for the government printing works to record those details in the appropriate publication. In practice, a new edition is published weekly, every Friday, and will contain all the relevant information received by the printers by 15h00 on the previous Friday.

Why Do People Read South African Gazettes?

Not all government acts may be directly relevant to everyone. However, information regarding legislation, such as that relating to the restitution of land rights, can be invaluable to farmers, homeowners and estate agents. From time to time, an article will call on the public to submit their comments about a new policy whilst still in the draft stage. These invitations are an opportunity for the country’s ordinary citizens to make a meaningful contribution to the democratic process.

In the pages of these weekly publications, one can find notifications of patent applications, company registrations, transport permits, name changes, liquor licence applications, financial statements, insolvencies and liquidations, to name just a few. In addition, selected South African gazettes are a source where manufacturers and service providers can search for notifications about the latest government tenders and determine whether they may qualify to bid.

Accessing South African Gazettes

These publications are available to all. They may be purchased in their original print form or downloaded from an internet-based provider such as Sabinet Online. One of the most reliable ways to obtain a printed copy will be to order it directly from the government website. However, many people find it more convenient to read what they want online or to download a PDF and perhaps print any pages that may be of particular interest. While the government provides free access to gazetted information online, finding the precise article one may be seeking in such an extensive online library can be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack without the help of an efficient search facility. Consequently, many of those who regularly need to consult back issues of South African gazettes and other publications are finding it far easier to subscribe to the Sabinet online platform.

Some Frequently Asked Questions about South African Gazettes

Interest in these government publications is widespread, but several aspects of their accessibility and purpose continue to raise questions from potential readers. Let’s take a look at three of the more common queries.

  1. What is the Government Gazette?

It is an official communication channel employed by the State to inform the general public of its decisions, including proclamations by the various government departments and the president. It is available in English and Afrikaans under the alternative title of Staatskoerant.

  1. How can I Obtain Past Copies of these Publications?

There are several ways to access earlier issues. For a start, one could simply contact the original publisher – in this case, the government printing works. However, many people are not interested in acquiring the print version but prefer to access the information they require on a personal computer or tablet. The latest issues, plus a vast collection of archived copies of South African gazettes, will be available for your personal use should you decide to become a Sabinet online subscriber.

  1. Why am I Unable to Acess Some Online Documents?

The online versions of these government publications are stored as scanned PDF files. If you wish to read any of these documents, you will first need to install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader on your digital device. However, subscription services must impose strict security measures to prevent unauthorised access. Consequently, registered subscribers are required to enter a username and password to gain access to most online documents.

Sabinet Online’s servers host a vast range of digitised documents in addition to South African gazettes. While access to most of these is password-protected, some have Open Access status, allowing a casual visitor to read them on a pay-per-view basis. Open Access publications can be filtered or identified by their open padlock icon and tend to cover subjects of common public interest, such as agriculture, medicine and education.

If you need access to South African gazettes or any other official national or overseas publication, register with Sabinet Online today and start enjoying our extensive information services.