Presidency communications beefed up

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pretoria - Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will soon have his own dedicated spokesperson in an effort to beef up the presidency's communication unit.

The two ministers in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel and Collins Chabane, will also have their own spokespeople.

Until now, Motlanthe and the two ministers have relied on several people within the unit for their communications, while Vincent Magwenya has been speaking solely on behalf of President Jacob Zuma.

Director General in the Presidency, Vusi Mavimbela, said this at times created a logistical nightmare as there was no clear co-ordination.

"For us, we thought it was very important to bring spokespeople closer to their principals to allow for that smooth flow of information," Mavimbela said at a media briefing on Wednesday.

He said Magwenya remained the spokesperson for the president while Zizi Kodwa, who serves as Zuma's spokesperson in the ANC, will act on an advisory capacity.

Mavimbela described Kodwa's appointment in the presidency as crucial to bring co-ordination between Luthuli House (ANC headquarters) and the Union Buildings.

"There was a need to bring Zizi Kodwa in order to have that co-ordination between the two offices. We recognised his expertise and he will advise where he can but Vincent remains the only spokesperson to the President".

The Presidency also announced that the policy unit will be moved to the Cabinet Office. The unit falls under the Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services (PCAS) previously headed by Joel Netshitenzhe.

Mavimbela said following the establishment of the National Planning Commission and Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation unit, a review of PCAS was necessary.

Other changes have been made to accommodate the newly created Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Staff from the office of the status of women, the office of the rights of the child and the office of the status of disable persons have been moved to the new ministry