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The PIRB and Freedom of Expression: What you need to know

The PIRB and Freedom of Expression FAQ

Over the last 20 years since the advent of the internet, it’s been easy to get carried away with what you make public and ultimately what you post on social media.

That being said, while the risks of social media are both evident and prevalent, irresponsible social media use may result in legal action.

After a recent social media post caught the attention of the Plumbing Registration Industry Board (PIRB) that is not only misleading and incorrect but slanderous in nature, the PIRB had to take necessary legal steps to rectify the situation and make their stance on freedom of expression clear.

It should be remembered that whilst freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and is constitutionally entrenched, this right is not without limitation.

All South African citizens have the right to freedom of expression and free speech, which includes the freedom to receive and impart information or ideas, but this right is only on the premise that this right does not extend to imparting incorrect and misleading information and/or is slanderous in nature.

The content in the above mentioned social media post did not only reflect negatively on the PIRB’s professional image and its collective reputation but it also had a negative impact on the registered plumbers the PIRB serves.

The PIRB will always take the necessary steps towards protecting its brand for the professional PIRB plumber.

The PIRB strictly objects to any social media post that is;

  • Misleading,
  • Factually incorrect,
  • Defamatory,
  • Or a social media post that intends to tarnish the image of the PIRB

The PIRB continues to strive to proactively work and promote plumbing practices in an open forum, free of any political or commercial agenda to protect the health and safety and wellbeing of the South African community and protecting the integrity of the South African water supply and wastewater systems.

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