Government and communication

The GCIS mandate is to serve as the central communications agency of government leading the reconstruction and development of post-apartheid South Africa. The GCIS mobilises the nation behind the National Development Plan (NDP), showcases progress and invites South Africans to work together to address challenges is critical to the achievement of Vision 2030.

The GCIS is responsible for informing all citizens of South Africa about government’s work and how they can participate in governance and consolidating the country’s democracy.

The GCIS has a responsibility to act in the interest of all South Africans, without discrimination and to communicate effectively in all official languages and reach all communities in urban, peri-urban and rural areas.

The GCIS reaches millions of South Africans through different platforms, which include publications, the news media, radio, television and izimbizo.

Cabinet directed the department to reposition the Thusong Service Centres programme to widen government access.

Repositioning means the department, working with partner departments, will have to look at the possibility of identifying the suitable structure, platforms and partnerships to effectively fulfil the mandate of the programme, which is not only limited to information.

The GCIS continues to enhance existing communication platforms and products, and initiate new ones to ensure that targeted audiences and communities receive relevant information through various means.

It is also establishing partnerships with strategic stakeholders within the three spheres of government, and within broader society, to achieve more.

The GCIS supports municipalities in their communication, with preference given to municipalities that are part of the Local Government Turnaround Strategy, to close the gap between municipalities and communities, which sometimes contributes to the factors behind protests in some communities.

The department has a mandate to ensure that government’s vision and policies are clearly understood in the public service. The GCIS coordinates the Internal Communicators’ Forum, to ensure messages disseminated across the various channels and outlets managed by departments are coherent.

Communicating government information is not the primary business of the public media. Vuk’uzenzele, a free national government newspaper, continues to gain traction among its target audience.

Vuk’uzenzele is the only newspaper in the country available in Braille and all official languages. The online version of the newspaper is due for further enhancement and improved usability.

SAnews.gov.za produces hard news and human-interest features, and carries many exciting pictures, video content on YouTube. It is also available on Facebook and Twitter.

The government news agency has become more popular with the public and it will continue to be marketed to the broader public as a complement to South Africa’s rapidly diversifying news and information mix. It has also entered into mutual-cooperation agreements with various foreign news agencies.

The GCIS, through its media-buying operation, continues to support the financial viability of a diverse community media sector, by placing over R38 million in advertising in the community press, radio and television.