South Africa: 1996 Constitution of RSA, Section 195 (1) of the Basic Values and Principles governing public administration calls for a transparent government that provides timely, accessible and accurate information to its citizenry.
It is against this background that the Free State Provincial Government, in partnership with Government Communications and Information System (GCIS), has convened a two days Provincial Communications Workshop at Ilanga Estate in Bloemfontein.
The cardinal purpose of the workshop is to empower communicators from different spheres of government to communicate effectively and strategically with communities.
Furthermore, the workshop seeks to ensure that communicators, through information, are able to empower communities to improve their livelihoods using the quality of information at their disposal.
Consistent with the District Development Model (DDM), which is centred around the cohesive implementation of government programmes, the workshop aims to foster coordination and cohesiveness within government communication.
In his opening remarks, Premier Dukwana Mxolisi called on all government communicators in the province to reflect honestly and deeply on the state of communication, weaknesses, gaps, failures and opportunities.
“We need to be Intelligent in our communications approach, that is, our response to information, misinformation and dissemination thereof. To build a better government, we need to improve government communications machinery.
Communicators need to be innovative and bring new ideas to enhance the government’s message to communities. Therefore, we need to rid ourselves of complacency and rigidity. The province, across all spheres, needs to take communications seriously as a critical function of service delivery. It is apparent that there is an urgent need to zoom in, then analyse existing gaps, failures and limitations and finally, construct a path to excellence.
The workshop is attended by the Free State Executive Council (EXCO), Director General, Kopung Ralikontsane, Heads of Departments (HoDs), communicators from all provincial departments, municipal communicators and strategic stakeholders, including community media.