The Government Communication (GCIS), Ministry for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Vhembe District Municipality and the office of the Premier in Limpopo organised a two-day training workshop for Municipalities in the Vhembe District.
This training followed the resolution of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Vuwani that Municipalities should be capacitated on government communication. The first Municipality that was trained on government communication is LIM 345 Municipality. The LIM 345 Municipality councilors were led by the Mayor, Councilor Tintswalo Joyce Bila.
This undertaking was motivated by the need of the municipality to institute regimes of transparency and accountability working with communities. Providing citizens with adequate information on priorities, programs, and activities of LIM 345 will ensure that communities are well informed.
Opening the session, Mayor Bila indicated that the session was necessitated by Section 32, subsection (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996. She further urged the use of all platforms to ensure that communities are able to access government information.
The Lim 345 Local Municipality Cllrs training on communication was aimed at empowering the Municipality to communicate better. This training is therefore a recognition that it is in the interest of LIM 345 to communicate effectively about the work they do on behalf of their constituents. As a legitimate player in evolving public sphere, the Municipality will benefit from developing and maintaining effective communication capacity with citizens, to better take stock of their needs and preferences, and to foster a more deliberative public space for multi-stakeholder participation, informed policy debate, and development effectiveness.
The two-day session looked at the following key areas:
- the communication function of government;
- Communication platforms and channels – including Social Media
- Rapid Response
- Development communication
- Media Engagement
The discussion recognised the need for 2-way communication between the government and citizens and building legitimacy and credibility of the Municipality. The session agreed that in practice, government communication is more than just a crisis management tool, but rather involves a variety of useful elements which are all geared to raising awareness, changing behaviour, fostering transparency and civic education, as well as listening to/feeling the pulse of society.
The session agreed that indeed it is important for government communicate effectively with communities as this will assist to avert crises.
Going forward, the team will still continue with Training in other Municipalities as part of the efforts to capacitate Councillors as the primary spokes-persons. The other training dates are as follows:
|31 July-01 August 2017||LIM 345 Local Municipality||LIM 345 (TBC)|
|02-03 August 2017||Thulamela Local Municipality||Thulamela (TBC)|
|15-16 August 2017||Vhembe District Municipality||Vhembe District (TBC)|
|17-18 August 2017||Makhado Local Municipality||Makhado (TBC)|
|30-31 August||Musina Local Municipality||Musina (TBC)|
Cell: 083 378 9495
Limpopo Provincial Government Spokesperson
Cell: 082 807 0796
Councilor Tintswalo Joyce Bila
LIM 345 Mayor
Cell: 072 818 994