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Batho Pele Principles

Thought Dynamic Engagement

By: Andzani Hlongwane

On the 11th of July 2019, the Limpopo Provincial Government hosted a Communicators Forum at Palala Boutique Game Lodge and Spa. The event was jointly sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Absa. The session is the first in the 6th Administration of Government after the recent National and Provincial Elections.

 

 

The event was populated by delegates from Communication Units having the Office of the Premier being the official hosts, the Provincial Government Departments, Government Agencies, District and Local Municipalities.

The Programme Director Mr. Matome Moremi said the purpose of the event to assist communicators within the Province to remain relevant with the demands of communities and more importantly an ever changing Technological Environment that must meet the service need demands of the people.

The Deputy Director General, Stakeholder Management Coordination Dr Stephen Tiba took to the podium and challenged every communicator and said they are the spin doctors and heart beat in ensuring that people know about the services that the State is doing in delivering services.

He thanked the sponsors for honouring the invitation and the kind gesture that they have afforded them by availing themselves to present their best practices as far as Communication and Marketing is concerned.

Acting in the absence of Mr. Stanley. C. Mathabata as the Premier Mr. N.Dickson Masemola, MEC of the Department of Transport and Community Safety. He said indeed having being delegated and tasked by the Premier to be a overall Spokesperson of the Government working as a communicator and will be working very closely with all Communicators in particular the Communications Unit in the Office of Premier more particularly as to ensure that the provincial message of service delivery is carried out to the people.

“The issue of communicators taking an event as a ticking box as just another event that they can add to their many trophies of memorabilia kept in their archival memory. Communicators cannot be sharing pictures enjoying whisky and brandy on a weekend outing they must understand that they are the faces of Government and such tendencies will lead to people perceiving that Government Journalist is a socialist ,wants to brag about their so called life and so when they want to update the masses on many more pressing issues” Masemola said.

Acting Premier Mr Dickson Masemola said that this is a very important platform that communicators have because the agenda of advancing the lives of society through the various platforms of Government media and communications in departments and municipalities that media carries with it power to shape the way people think about the Regional State.

All of the communicators are expected to play a communicative role in their individual roles as part of working as the Mind Power of Government ensuring that Citizens of the Province get relevant information enabling them to be active participants in the affairs of the Regional Government ,he said.

He tasked the communicators to understand their role as they will be reporting and writing on Government Services so they must speak in one voice in very different ways. He emphasised the intention of the session that it is meant to bring about sharing of ideas, establish goals that achieve the crucial message of service delivery.

He stressed the point that communicators must advance themselves by taking themselves to School. Acting Premier further challenged Communicators to always adapt themselves to the issue of researching for whatever presentation that they would be part of, that they must brief one another in their sister departments, stakeholders be it a issue of a community protesting about service delivery or a boy child had died due to unsafe circumsion ensuring that when the Principal or head is up to breast about the current affairs that he will have to answer to.

Communicators must speak in one voice by keeping themselves update by reading the National Development Plan NDP, LDP Limpopo Development Plan, NDF National Development Framework The Manifesto of the ANC, 7 point Plan Government, 5 Developmental Priorities, the SONA, SOPA pronouncement of the President, Premier and more importantly the Supreme Law of the Country the Constitution, he added.

Communicators must be well read about the many projects and programmes that the State Government has, is and will be implementing plans to alleviate the conditions of the vulnerable masses of the society. He stressed the importance of how communicators must not be consumers of content but they must generators of content he said.

The days of Senior Mangers, Directors and Mayors sitting on their loins are over they must account for the services that they have rendered to the masses that need these vital services.As spokespersons they must say to their Principals that they done their part and they must go and address the people for themselves, that they must not delegate their responsibility to them, he said.

He further explained communicators must meet the advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that demands news on Government on a news feed that can be accessed live and speak to the needs of the people it is being Broadcasted for.