Communication key to service delivery: Minister Muthambi

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Pretoria – Communication at local government level needs to be strengthened so citizens are better informed of government’s programme of action, particularly around matters of service delivery.

“There is urgent need to capacitate municipalities with skilled communicators to improve communication on matters of service delivery. Government needs skilled communicators, especially at local government level to turn the citizenry into an informed nation about the Nine-Point Plan (sic).

“It is important for all of us to understand that communication in itself is service delivery. To communicate is to deliver a critical service that empowers citizens to participate in a democratic government.

“If our people are not sufficiently informed about how the public purse is spent, it should not come as a surprise when from time to time we get various community protests,” Communications Minister Faith Muthambi said.

Minister Muthambi held a day-long meeting on Saturday with the senior management team of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in Pretoria. The meeting primarily focused on how to amplify communication around issues of service delivery and government’s programme of action. 

Minister Muthambi urged GCIS management to work on a clear communication strategy that will assist municipal communicators to effectively communicate government-led efforts to stimulate and grow the South African economy.

She said communication must be heightened to create awareness of the Nine-Point Plan’s objectives, elements as well as its significance to grow the economy.

About the Nine-Point Plan

While the Nine-Point Plan’s chief focus is on resolving the energy challenge in the country, it also seeks to revitalise agriculture and the agro-processing value chain.

The plan also focuses on ICT infrastructure and broadband roll-out, water, sanitation and transport infrastructure as well as Operation Phakisa, which is aimed at growing the ocean economy.

It also seeks to advance beneficiation in the country’s mineral wealth and ensure a more effective implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan.

It further encourages private sector investment, moderating workplace conflict, unlocking the potential of SMMEs, cooperatives, township and rural enterprises, and boosting the role of State-owned companies.

Minister Muthambi said the GCIS has a central mandate to drive coherent government messaging and to strengthen how government works in unison to deliver efficient and professional government communication.

She said government is operating in a very complex environment, which has both local and international permutations that require appropriate communication expertise.

“Government communicators have a responsibility to … ensure regular engagements between government and citizens of the country,” she said. -

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