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Government communication should be about people first’ - SALGA National Communicators Forum

Posted: 29 March 2017


Government communication should be about putting the people first and be driven to support the delivery of municipal services to be of the quality and standard, this is a message from government leaders and communication experts at the National Communicators Forum (NFC) hosted by SALGA, at CSIR International Convention Centre, 29 -30 March 2017.

“Communication is not about branding and procuring ‘T-shirts’ alone, it is about content and empowering people with information they can use to better themselves and improve their lives. There are a number of good initiatives taking place in our local municipalities, but we are not hearing anything about them in the public domain,” Minister Faith Muthambi told the delegates attending the NFC.

Minister Muthambi called on SALGA to facilitate the Annual Local Government Strategic Planning Sessions at which communicators would set local government communication objectives and messages for the new financial year ahead.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Deputy Minister, Andres Nel said that there should be a link between a communication strategy and the functions of a municipality.

“The people want to know when a broken street light will get fixed… when refuse will be collected. Government communication should be about the state of affairs and providing feedback consistently,” Deputy Minister Nel said.

The NFC, which is currently underway, is being attended by Communicators and Public Participation Practitioners from various municipalities across the country.
The aim of the NCF is to further provide a platform for Municipal Communicators to engage with one another about communication imperatives in order to improve local government performance and facilitate inter-municipal peer-learning to improve service delivery.

Deputy Minister Nel said the NCF will be reported to the decision making structures such as the Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting (MINMEC) to ensure that the outcomes of the conference are filtered down to all nine provinces.

SALGA CEO, Xolile George, officially launched the Municipal Barometer, a web-based portal that provides easily accessible local data intelligence for the sector.

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