Cape Town – Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe says there has been a healthy collaboration between government and the media in dispersing information to the citizens.
The Minister said this during a networking event with the media that was organised by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), in collaboration with Old Mutual, at the Clock Tower at the V&A Waterfront on Wednesday.
The media networking function is held annually a day before President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA).
Minister Radebe said the healthy collaboration was crucial as it allows government to keep members of the public informed about key government information and programmes throughout the year.
“I am told that last year, there has been a very good cooperation between government and the media.
“We had about 61 media briefings … about 30 of those were by cluster Ministers and government departments. So I would like to thank the media for this cooperation so that we can communicate what government does to the majority of South Africa’s people.
“Without your collaboration as media, those 61 media briefings would not have happened,” he said.
The Minister said this ahead of President Zuma’s State of the Nation Address, which he will deliver at 7pm in the National Assembly.
The State of the Nation Address will be followed by the debate in the National Assembly on 16 and 17 February 2016. President Zuma will reply to the debate on 18 February 2016.
From 16 February 2016 cluster media briefings will provide additional updates on government programmes.
Addressing journalists and government communicators, Minister Radebe said that ever since the passing of the Media Diversity Development Act in 2002, there has been diversity in the media.
“We would like to see that proceeding into the future to also see a lot of media organisations mushrooming in South Africa, so we can spread … information into the rural [areas].
“We would also like to thank the communicators of government for really working very hard to impress upon their principals, the Ministers, heads of department, to do this communication that is so necessary in order for us to know what is happening in South Africa,” he said.
The SA National Editors Forum convener Mahlatse Gallens thanked government communicators for working with journalists throughout the year.
She said it would be a good idea if government communicators could arrange regular off-the-record briefings with journalists, especially ahead of major announcements of key government programmes.
This would ensure that journalists do not miss the main story or main key messages on the day of the launch. – SAnews.gov.za