NW communication's unit scoops three awards

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Johannesburg - The Communication Unit in the Office of the Premier in the North West has scooped three awards for its outstanding performance in communicating government's programmes.

The Chief Directorate: Communication was declared Government Communicator of the Year 2009 at the glitzy Government Communicators Awards ceremony on Friday.

This unit also clinched the prestigious Provincial Bua Award as well as Provincial Ubuncweti Award.

Speaking to BuaNews, the directorate's Chief Director Cornelius Monama said hard work, focus and staff commitment was the reason behind them being recognized by their peers.

He said at the beginning of the year they developed a comprehensive communication strategy which had served to guide them through the year. The unit would not only maintain the high standard abut ensure they strengthened their communication strategy.

"We are pleased to receive these prestigious awards, especially the Communicator of the Year Award. We see them not only as a reward for excellence in government communication, but also as an encouragement to aspire to even greater heights," said Monama.

Organised by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), the awards aim to promote, encourage and maintain high standards and professionalism of communication at all levels of government.

Other winners included the Chief Directorate Communication: Health Department, who the National Bua Award, while the National Department of Education won the National Ubuncweti Award.

The Eden District Municipality won the Local Ubuncweti Award for their outstanding performance in communicating the municipality's programmes.

Former GCIS Chief Executive Officer, Joel Netshitenzhe was recognized with the Special Excellency Award for his central role he played in the formation of GCIS and establishment of comprehensive government communication strategy.

Netshitenzhe also served as Head of the Policy Unit and Advisory in The Presidency.

Speaking at the event GCIS CEO and Government Spokesperson, Themba Maseko, said next year would be a busy year for government communicators as they would have a decisive role to play in making the 2010 FIFA World Cup a success.

"We [as government communicators] have a crucial responsibility of communicating positive things and minimize the space for overseas journalist to write negative things. We have to improvise to make sure that the tournament is a success. All the media across the world is looking at South Africa," he said.

Meanwhile, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi said the awards must reinforce the commitment of communicators to excel in their daily work.

He said the awards must be a catalyst which ensures that government communicators perfectly and constantly do their work and maintain the standards.

"Strategic communication is imperative for government and is a sensational platform which gives policymakers a space to work.

"You play a significance role in communicating our programmes. Communicators play a central role in ensuring that citizens are participants in this democratic process and strengthen your role to make sure that we communicate our programmes better," Baloyi said