A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
COMMUNICATIONS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
25 March 2003
GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SYSTEM (GCIS): ANNUAL REPORT; INTERNATIONAL MARKETING COUNCIL UPDATE
Chairperson: Mr N Kekana (ANC)
Documents handed out
Briefing notes of GCIS CEO (Appendix 1)
International Marketing Council Update (Appendix 2)
COMMUNICATIONS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
GCIS Budget and Programmes 2003/04 [link to Treasury website] Distribution Radio Outreach People with disabilities Total 2002 6,5% 70% 17% 6,5% 0% 100% 2003 14% 32% 36% 16% 2% 100% www.safrica.info and await the release of www.southafrica.info and www.southafrica.com. As soon as this is done, we will actively promote the site, and it will be used on all marketing material for SA Tourism and as many Government Departments as possible.
GCIS Presentation on Budget Vote 6
GCIS Strategic Plan [email email@example.com for document]
SA Web portal
Both GCIS and the International Marketing Council presented assessments of their activities for the past year. The Committee had questions about Multi-Purpose Community Centres and Public Information Terminals; a marketable, unifying South African symbol/icon for national branding; the South Africa.com court case developments; how GCIS plans to provide government information in an unbiased manner; the removal of the Press Gallery from its offices within Parliament to outside of Parliament and SABC editorial policy.
Ms N Mtsweni (ANC) was elected Acting Chairperson of the Committee, as Mr Kekana had informed the Committee that his arrival would be delayed.
Introduction by Acting Chairperson
The Acting Chairperson stated that the vision of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) is to provide a better life to all South Africans, especially to those who do not have access to information, for whatever reason. Its mission is to ensure that the public is informed on the extent to which government is implementing its mandate. The Acting Chairperson congratulated GCIS on the work it has done so far, such as the Imbizo's, the Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs) and one-stop centres, to name but a few.
Briefing by GCIS on Budget Vote
Mr Joel Netshitenzhe, the GCIS CEO, conducted the presentation based on his briefing notes (see Appendix), which focused on the efforts of the GCIS to promote communication, the aim to bring government closer to the people, fostering a climate for partnership and implementation and the progress that has been made in the five years since its introduction.
International Marketing Council Update
Ms Yvonne Johnston, the International Marketing Council (IMC) CEO, addressed Members on the progress made by the IMC on devising "Brand South Africa" (see document) since its last presentation to this Committee in May 2002.
Ms M Smuts (DP) referred to the Gateway Project mentioned by Mr Netshitenzhe, and sought clarity on the actual platform that would be used here. Would the Gateway Project be available to the public via the Public Information Terminal (PIT) and, if so, could GCIS indicate how many of these PITs are now available. On a previous occasion this Committee had been told that 300 PITs had been rolled out by the South African Post Office (SAPO), whereas SAPO itself has indicated that only 100 PITs have been provided.
Mr Netshitenzhe responded that is being done by both the Department of Public Service and Administration the Department of Communications. He understands that ordinary computers will be used in the MPCCs to provide access to the Gateway Project, because there are MPCCs that have telecentres as well. The computer facilities in some of these centres will also have to be upgraded, and PITs will be used as well.
Ms S Vos (IFP) referred to the statement made by Mr Netshitenzhe during his presentation regarding the threats received from Members of political parties, and proposed that once that information is received it should be taken immediately to the leadership of that particular political party, because it is so serious a matter.
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that this is exactly what GCIS is going to do, and indicated that he was also of the opinion that this Committee would perhaps be the best place to raise this matter. It also has to be made clear that these allegations were received by GCIS officials on the ground, and they will be reduced to written form.
Ms M Morutoa (ANC) asked GCIS to provide Members with a list of all the MPCCs that have already been established.
Mr Netshitenzhe responded that he does have a list of these MPCCs with him at the moment, but Members could also visit www.gcis.gov.za which has all this information. GCIS will obtain formal reports on the status from the staff of the MPCCs themselves and it would then be able to conduct an objective assessment of the work actually being done by the MPCCs, but the credibility of this assessment will depend on the assistance given by Members of this Committee themselves checking on the performance of the MPCCs in their constituencies.
Mr A Maziya (ANC) congratulated GCIS on its equity arrangements, and noted that the figures provided seems to indicate that the GCIS is dominated by women.
Mr M Phadagi (ANC) stated that he realises that other countries do use a brand, but they also have icons that are synonymous with their country. For example, France has the Eiffel Tower, the United States has the White House, Australia has the kangaroo. Although it could be argued that South Africa has icons such as Table Mountain and the Basutho hat by which it is identified, it might be a good idea to identify a symbol, apart from the flag, with which all South Africans can identify and with which they can be identified.
Mr Netshitenzhe responded that one major challenge experienced here is that South Africa is a young country, and at the same time it has to develop a national brand. It is true that other countries have their own unique symbols with which they are synonymous but those countries have developed those symbols over a number of years, whereas South Africa is a young country. Government does appreciate the need to develop national symbols, and it would probably be one that characterises the country as a whole. The actual symbol to be used has not yet been decided, but some of the possible shortlisted candidates would be Table Mountain, the Kruger National Park, Sun City or even the Freedom Park complex, when it is completed.
Ms I Mutsila (ANC) referred to Ms Johnstone's statements in her presentation that Mr Price and Pick 'n Pay are involved in promoting Brand South Africa, but sought clarity as to whether SMMEs could not also possibly be included here. They could be useful to promote projects and programmes run by the previously disadvantaged, because these people do have the products but they just do not have the resources or skills to market it very well.
Ms Johnston replied that SMMEs would "absolutely" be involved.
Mr V Gore (DP) noted that Ms Johnston referred to the current "South Africa.com" debacle. The latest information he has is that in September 2002 the Department applied to the United States Supreme Court to rule that the Department be allowed to take the matter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). However the Supreme Court ruled against the Department - so it cannot take the matter to ICANN. Does this mean that South Africa will not be allowed to use the South Africa.com" site?
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that Mr Gore is correct that the Department applied to the United States Supreme Court which had ruled against the Department because a New Zealand or Australian legal precedent on this matter had already been established. Yet due to the extent to which South Africa is currently marketing its current site, the body that is currently using the South Africa.com site is not making much money at all. In fact, they were initially prepared to hand over the domain name in exchange for $2m, but now appear to be prepared to settle for $400 000.
Ms Smuts stated that she appreciates the difficulty inherent in providing government information in an unbiased manner, and ensuring that it is not slanted to express the views of any political party. Yet Point 14 in Mr Netshitenzhe's briefing notes creates the impression that the problems with unemployment and poverty have almost been resolved by the government, thus appearing to side with or favour the current ruling party. How does GCIS plan to ensure that it does not cross the line?
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that government does have definite policies guiding its operations, and all GCIS does is inspect these policies and programmes on an ongoing basis to assess whether government has in fact succeeded in implementing these policies. GCIS thus merely monitors these policies and does not become involved in them, but identifies the successes and weaknesses. During the upcoming election period all government information communicators have to observe the provisions of the Public Service Act, and during the last elections GCIS provided such officials with guidelines for their conduct during elections.
Ms Vos asked GCIS to explain the extent to which it interacts with government ministries, and how it assists them with their outreach projects.
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that there are rules and regulations on this matter that have been accepted by Cabinet, and a formal system has been put in place which allows GCIS to make input.
Ms Vos asked GCIS if it has given any thought to the "turfing out" of the Press Gallery from its offices in Parliament, and what consequences this would have for Parliament. Members already have a difficult time in gaining access to members of the press. Moving them off Parliamentary premises will only make this more difficult.
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that he has been "observing these developments with interest", and stated that GCIS does not want to upset the separation of powers doctrine by dictating terms to Parliament. GCIS has interacted with the Secretary to Parliament and the Office of the Speaker of Parliament to reach a compromise between the two sides but, beyond this, there is very little that GCIS can do.
Ms W Newhoudt-Druchen (ANC) referred to the statement made by Ms Johnston during her presentation that there is a "negative camp" of South Africans that go overseas, for sporting activities or fact-finding missions for example, and who perpetuate the negative impression of South Africa, yet they are financed by government monies. Should such persons not receive training on how to talk about South Africa in foreign countries, so that the negative impression is dispelled?
Ms Johnston repied that it is vitally important that all efforts are made "to get everyone on-side within a short period". It has to be remembered that South Africa has only just begun a twenty year process in marketing and establishing Brand South Africa. The reality of the matter is that South Africans cannot be forced to feel national pride. This is not a normal marketing campaign. Instead all that can be hoped for is that the message finally gets through to South Africans. This campaign is all about presenting facts and the truth, and it appears that all those that feel negatively about South Africa actually do not know the true state of affairs.
Mr R Pieterse (ANC) contended that the use of audio cassettes is vital in disseminating information to the public. In Australia it was used very effectively to reach the illiterate, the blind and now to those who are simply too busy to read documents. They can now listen to these information cassettes while driving to work, for example. Perhaps GCIS should consider rolling out this facility in the same manner?
Mr Pieterse noted that South African schools are still celebrating "American Day", and perhaps thought should be given to introducing a South African Day. This should be captured as early as primary school level.
Ms Johnston replied that this is very much on the IMC radar screens. In fact Australia has a very vibrant Australia Day that is celebrated near its heritage day, and it would be a wise decision in terms of positioning South Africa Day around our heritage day as well. Mr Netshitenzhe added that this is a critical issue and it could be brought to the attention of the Minister of Education.
Ms Mtsweni referred to the co-ordination of the MPCCs, and stated that it has to be ensured that they all provide the same information.
Ms Mtsweni referred to the table in the Mr Netshitenzhe's briefing notes (see document) that indicates that figures for radio have increased which is to be commended.
Furthermore, it is accepted that GCIS cannot be expected to reach its full employment targets overnight, but full employment still remains a problem. This has to be resolved.
Ms Mtsweni sought clarity on the R3m set aside for the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), and the R7m that is still expected.
Ms N Magazi (ANC) referred to the statements made by Ms Johnston regarding the marketing of Brand South Africa internationally, and contended that the relationship between GCIS and the Department of Trade and Industry is important to facilitate this. The Department of Trade and Industry has parastatals that also have "mentorship schemes" that present their marketing findings to NGOs. GCIS has to work with such organisations in order to properly market Brand South Africa, because it is those NGOs that interact with their SMME counterparts overseas. The churches could also be involved here.
Ms Johnston responded that his point is well taken, but it has to be remembered that this is a matter of priority because the IMC cannot be at all places and interacting with all organisations at the same time. It is for this reason that "thought leaders" have been introduced at churches, in partnership with the Department of Education. The Department of Trade and Industry is one of the IMC's key shareholders in this initiative.
The Chair sought clarity on the standard set for government spokespersons as the ranking of this official in the hierarchy is important. It cannot be a low-ranking official as that person will not be as influential in dealing with government policy.
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that Cabinet has decided that this official would be a Chief Director, as most of the Departments have their corresponding officials at this level. This could be upgraded. Government departments have been urged to implement Cabinet's decision, but at the same time government has to ensure that the proper people are appointed.
The Chair stated that there is a debate as to whether the "SABC Africa" news bulletins should be moved to a more mainstream time slot because it provides such important information about Africa, and GCIS has to be consulted on this matter.
Mr Netshitenzhe responded that GCIS has considered this, but it has not formally raised this matter with the SABC. It was raised with some of the senior SABC officials, and they responded that channels have been put in place that essentially force the SABC to compete for resources because they cannot derive funds from subscription fees, and this reality cannot but inform their broadcasting decisions. This matter has to be discussed further with the Department.
The Chair stated SABC Africa has received a formal complaint that its broadcasting of the war on Iraq is slanted. This is relevant to the so-called "embedded journalism" currently being practiced by western television networks in covering the war on Iraq. Although the broadcasting of news coverage and footage during wartime is a sensitive matter, it nevertheless has to do with editorial content. It has to be ensured that journalists report matters objectively though it is accepted that it is impossible to report without a degree of subjectivity. The current practice of the western television networks is to actually serve as part of the United States military strategy, as it only broadcasts news and footage that is slanted towards the American stance. GCIS has to look at some of these debates.
Mr Netshitenzhe replied that the Department would indicate that the starting point would be editorial policy, which would have to be developed by the SABC. GCIS has been informed that it is currently busy with this policy, and that all roleplayers would be consulted. The SABC is developing solid relationships with public broadcasters in other African countries, and this Committee would play an important role in assisting in the finalisation of this policy.
The meeting was adjourned.
Appendix 1: Briefing Notes of GCIS CEO
BRIEFING TO PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON COMMUNICATIONS
GCIS Budget Vote
25 March 2003
PRESENTATION BY THE CEO
1 This is the sixth GCIS presentation on its budget to the Portfolio Committee - which means that our fifth birthday is imminent and with it a time for medium-term stocktaking.
2 One of the things we will surely be celebrating is our relationship with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications. We do know that we are being received, as government, by representatives of the people who share the basic premises of our work:
2.1 That our citizens in all their sectors and formations must have the widest access possible to reliable information about their government and its programmes in media and forms that they prefer:
- In order that they can become active participants in programmes to improve their lives and the world we live in; and
- in order that they can hold their government to account.
2.2 That the right of South Africans to freedom of expression, embracing the freedom of the press and other media and the freedom to receive and impart information or ideas should become a reality for all.
2.3 That the peoples and countries of the world should have reliable and accurate information about the realities of our country and the possibilities it offers so that they will be moved to strengthen their partnerships with us and our continent for development and growth; and that South Africans should be afforded a framework through which they can join in the effort build those partnerships with the rest of the world.
3 On this last matter, the Chief Executive Officer of the International Marketing Council will brief the committee on the Brand South Africa campaign that is about to unfold, which will in the first instance harness the pride that South Africans feel in their country, as we engage with the world and its visitors to our land.
4 This presentation will focus on the contributions we believe we have made and are planning to make on some of our core functions. The CEO of the IMC and the GCIS Managers will help elaborate on some of the issues.
II PROMOTING ACCESS TO COMMUNICATION
5 It is just a few days short of one year since this committee completed the First Reading of the MDDA Bill. The work that was done here prepared the way for a smooth passage through the remaining stages of legislation and by July the MDDA Act had commenced.
5.1 In the time between this committee's nomination of six board members and the appointment of the board in December, work was done to consolidate the commitments by the media owners so that the President could indeed make three appointments "taking into account the finances of the Agency" - and so that the MDDA should begin its life with an assured funding base. GCIS has transferred to the MDDA the R3 million set aside for it for the financial year 2002/03 and will be transferring R7 million as soon as the next financial year begins. This has allowed the MDDA to begin the work of establishing itself without any delay.
5.2 GCIS has given, and will continue to give, the MDDA all the support that should be forthcoming from a department to a public entity for which it has responsibility. In this initial startup phase, that has meant extensive administrative support as the MDDA Board seeks to establish an agency that is fully compliant with the PFMA and have in place effective structures, systems and procedures that will give effect to the decisions and policies of the Board. It has meant passing to the MDDA the information and research accumulated over the years of policy development and legislative enactment. Beyond that GCIS will continue to do what it can to ensure that the MDDA draws maximum support from the various government departments and agencies with which it has to develop partnerships.
5.3 As the MDDA Board has indicated, it expects that the criteria it will be using for allocating support will be embodied in regulations by midyear putting it in a position to then solicit requests for support and to begin disbursing funds by the end of this year. As such, we are confident that, soon, the MDDA will start fully giving effect to the provisions of the Act. We also hope that the Portfolio Committee will regularly interact with the Board.
6 The transformation of the advertising and marketing industry remains on course, within the framework of the Way Forward that concluded the hearings in November.
6.1 GCIS, the Department of Communications and the Department of Trade & Industry are busy finalising a report to Cabinet, with proposals on developing a framework for taking transformation forward. The Global BEE Transformation Charter and its associated guidelines will help facilitate this process. And the review this year of the consumer protection legislation should contribute to improving the regulatory environment.
6.2 As agreed at the November hearings, there is to be a midyear plenary gathering to take the transformation further forward. An interim plenary meeting held last week set in motion the preparation for the mid year gathering, including the gathering and analysis of information, which could inform discussion around the setting of benchmarks.
6.3 In the meanwhile, the signing by all stakeholders of the Values Statement produced in the course of the hearings, will be witnessed at an event to take place in the next few weeks. Industry bodies intend to cascade the commitment done by taking the Values Statement to their members for adoption. This should help set the scene for a productive midyear plenary.
6.4 We noticed that the cover story in the latest edition of The Media features the Honourable Chair of the Portfolio Committee, gently chiding government for the pattern of its expenditure on advertising. While we would say that the difference between government and the private sector is considerably more significant in statistical and policy terms than is often acknowledged, we are busy addressing the need to shift our expenditure patterns. This will form part of our recommendations to Cabinet. In the meanwhile government is strengthening our bulk-buying procedures; interacting with parastatals regarding procurement; and examining the new Media Group Measure produced by SAARF as a possible instrument for shifting and tracking adspend.
6.5 Without waiting for these things we are also checking our own practice each time we purchase media space in order to ensure the widest and most representative reach. We have taken to heart the justified criticism of government in this regard.
6.6 For example, the single biggest communication campaign of each year is the dissemination of government's programme of action following the President's State of the Nation Address. Comparing 2002 and 2003, the breakdown shows a marked shift towards media and modes of communication more effective in reaching all sections of the population than are print media on their own. Amongst the initiatives behind these figures was the live link up with 48 community radio stations for the President's State of the Nation Address, as well as consultation with organizations representing those with disabilities, to publish the information in Braille and on tape. The event was also broadcast live (as part of "outreach") at Multi-Purpose Community Centres and satellite points across South Africa through the "Big Screen" programme which saw 58 community-based Imbizo events bringing the Address directly into the most rural communities.
III BRINGING GOVERNMENT CLOSER TO THE PEOPLE
7 These figures also bear on our intensified efforts to bring government closer to the people.
7.1 The increased importance of distribution and outreach, (including production of material) like that of radio represents attention to trying to ensure that information about government's programme of action does reach all citizens. Needless to say all languages are being used. We are however aware that the character of the language used in our publications needs attention to ensure it does communicate clearly to everyone, and we are giving that matter attention.
7.2 These changes have been informed by research that tracks the reach of our communication efforts and public wishes and preferences about what they wish to know of government and how they would like to receive that information. In this regard it is a priority for this coming year to strengthen our distribution system to ensure that the material and the information we disseminate does reach citizens everywhere in our country.
8 The rollout of the Multi-Purpose Community Centres has passed the halfway mark, with 36 operational out of the 61 planned for the first phase of the programme that will see one in every district of the country. All the evidence is that the MPCCs are making an enormous impact, even beyond what we might have anticipated, on the lives of people for whom previously access to government services was extremely difficult and sometimes prevented by the inordinate cost of transport to do things which those in well-resourced areas take for granted, like getting a form to register a child's birth.
8.1 We have undertaken a pilot project together with DTI at one MPCC, to ensure availability of government information on opportunities for micro and small business, with a view to extending it to all MPCCs.
8.2 As we look forward to the next phase in this process we are doing so within the framework of government's drive towards Integrated Service Delivery, together with other departments, in particular Public Service & Administration; Communications; Public Works; Arts & Culture; Science & Technology. Such an approach will ensure the most effective impact of resources devoted by various departments to extending the physical and ICT infrastructure for bringing government services and information to citizens.
8.3 The first fruit of this approach will be the launch this year of the first phase of the DPSA's Batho Pele Gateway project, with MPCCs providing the home of some of the pilot projects. Gateway will in time offer all citizens a one-stop electronic entry point to government services and information, an initiative described by President in his State of the Nation Address as "akin to an electronic MPCC".
8.4 We are examining possibilities, in the context of preparations for the Growth and Development Summit, to significantly strengthen partnership with the private sector. This will inform both the modernisation of infrastructure and the setting up of MPCCs in all municipalities. Consideration is also being given to extending this partnership to the delivery of such services as provision of business skills.
9 The Imbizo programme has gone from strength to strength in the two years since the President initiated it with his visit to Limpopo Province in April 2001. It has become an integral part of government communication and has expanded rapidly in response to public enthusiasm for the opportunity to engage directly with the executive.
9.1 Apart from the Imbizo visits to provinces by the President and Deputy President and regular provincial and local outreach initiatives, the National Imbizo Focus Weeks have progressed from involving 170 events in October 2001, to 300 in April 2002, and 320 in November 2002. Response to preparations for the Focus Week beginning on 31 March suggests that this Focus Week could be even bigger.
9.2 One consequence of the rapid growth in Imbizo is the challenge of processing those concerns that are not immediately dealt with on the spot. To address this GCIS is developing an information management system to which provinces will have access, and which will collate issues raised at Imbizo, in order to promote effective follow-up and feedback.
9.3 At the same time it should be recognised that the principal impact of Imbizo is the difference it makes to how government operates once the executive interacts directly with the public. The two-way interaction acts as a catalyst both for responsive government and for more participation by the public in programmes for change - it nourishes partnership for development and good governance.
IV FOSTERING A CLIMATE FOR PARTNERSHIP AND IMPLEMENTATION
10 Promoting the building of partnerships with government across society has been and continues to be a priority for GCIS. Since hope and confidence in the possibility of joint action and democratic governance to eradicate poverty are also critical to building partnerships for change, communicating achievements and correcting misperceptions are also priorities.
11 During the past year, whether it was the Partnership Against AIDS; the Social Grant Registration Campaign; Imbizo; the World Summit for Sustainable Development; the Sixteen Days of No Violence Against Women and Children; or various other campaigns to foster letsema and the spirit of vuk'uzenzele, the themes of shared responsibility and joint action for change, have been at the heart of our communication campaigns.
12 In the coming period the Growth and Development Summit and the post-TRC process amongst others will demand such attention.
13 That such communication is consistent with the public mood was reflected in a more positive turn-of-year mood in the media and trends in public opinion compared to previous years. This suggests an end of the downward "mid-term" trend in public mood. Long-term confidence in our democratic system to fulfil the aspirations of our people continues to be reflected in surveys.
14 Consistent with these trends is the evidence of the impact of government programmes on the life of South Africans, as reflected in the holistic picture from various surveys by Statistics South Africa. While partial data and focus on single points in time may attract shallow claims of "no delivery" and "increasing poverty", a contrary conclusion follows from a rounded picture of trends including the "social wage", tax relief and social grants, over and above cash income from employment.
V FIVE YEARS ON
15 To implement the programmes described above and to effect communication that brings government closer to the people, that broadens access to communication and that creates a climate for partnership, GCIS has had to transform itself from what it was five years ago when it was established. It has had to develop and consolidate a government communication system that could answer to these needs. This is not the occasion for a review as such, or to anticipate what the challenges of the next decade will be, but it may be of interest to note some highlights.
16 Looking at GCIS as an organisation:
16.1 The composition of the staff has been transformed to meet the requirements of the Employment Equity Act targets. Currently 71,4% are African (EEA target for 2005 is 70,5%); 9,2% Coloured (target 7,8%); 2,7% Indian (target 3%); and 16,7% White (target 18,7%). Those with disabilities form 2,1% of the staff (target 2%).
16.2 The budget for the financial year 2002/03 was R153,7 million (including allocations to the IMC and MDDA), rising to R176 million in 03/04, compared with R60,2 million for the first year 1998/99. For this increase, reflecting the fact that GCIS has been entrusted with additional functions, we should thank the Portfolio Committee.
16.3 In addition to the head office in Pretoria, nine provincial offices and one satellite office that existed in 1998, there are now also 62 Government Information Centres (GICs) across the country, 34 of them within MPCCs.
16.4 The Government On Line Web Site, launched in 1999, has been visited over 4,3 million times.
17 Looking at the government communication system:
17.1 Today there is an increasingly integrated system of communicators clustered to match the clustering of governance, and working under the strategic guidance of Cabinet, co-ordinating national and provincial governments.
17.2 Following the first-ever conference of local government communicators hosted by SALGA in June 2002 with GCIS support efforts are being made to enhance communication capacity in the local sphere of government.
17.3 The SANEF-Cabinet Indaba in 2002 laid the foundation for improved working relations between government and the media in the public interest. Amongst other things, the Presidential Press Corps is about to be launched.
17.4 GCIS is making increasing use of multi-media initiatives and promoting direct two-way communication between government and the public.
17.5 We have also started more systematically to develop our relations with our counter-parts in Southern Africa and further afield; and we are working closely with the NEPAD Secretariat on various NEPAD initiatives.
18. These are simply a few reflections of the changes that have been made in a process in which the Portfolio Committee, as already noted, has been a supportive participant, and which is slowly but surely taking us closer to the realisation of the vision of a society of informed citizens who are active participants in improving their own lives and the well-being of the nation.
Appendix 2: International Marketing Council Update
Presentation to Cabinet Joint Portfolio Committee
March 25th 2003
The last year has been one of clearly defining the role that the International Marketing Council will play into the future, articulating strategies that were mere ideas a year ago and starting to actually deliver on those strategies. We are satisfied to report that all projects that were outlined to this Committee this time last year have taken form and are beginning to have an impact on their various markets.
BRAND South Africa
The framework to guide our efforts to change how the world perceives, thinks and feels about South Africa has been completed, and culminated in the development of the Desired Brand Positioning (the Unilever Brand Key). This points out how we want the world to think and feel about South Africa relative to other countries as they review the competitive landscape before them.
We have defined the Values and Personality of Brand South Africa after interaction with over 25,100 people, from overseas investors to South Africans in rural Kwazulu Natal. All research was checked for resonance in all official languages.
The Values (What we stand for and believe in) that will guide all of our work are:
Ubuntu, respect for others, Hospitality, warmth, welcoming, a sense of perpetual optimism with a fervent belief in a better tomorrow, open minded and positive, Honesty, transparency, approachable and real.
The Personality of the brand (The way we behave): Energetic, colourful and vibrant, passionate embracing diversity, vigorous, responding readily. We are a people with a "Can do' attitude, we are open minded, tenacious, determined with a hunger to succeed. We have a sense of continual learning and creative ingenuity - we are innovative, fresh different and practical. The country reflects a caring strength, female, nurturing and empathetic, and most of all we have a youthful spirit which is exploring and pioneering.
All of our communication will be supported by the Reasons to Believe which provide concrete evidence for all of the above.
The South African slogan is "Alive With Possibility" which is the essence of all of our communication. We would like to see this message inculcated into all messaging emanating from the country, and it will guide everything that we do from a communication perspective.
The process to translate the desired positioning into reality is underway, ( i.e., "ensure the total experience our target clients take away and believe to be true about South Africa after having heard of or/and interacted with South Africa at any point, paints a consistent picture (how we want the world to think and feel about South Africa). Specifically:-
The Architecture pointing out how to translate the Desired Country Positioning into expressions for Tourism and Trade & Industry has been completed.
The Tourism expression has also been completed
The process to translate the Desired Country Positioning into Trade & Industry expression is also underway.
The building blocks of the Internal Mobilisation Programme are also underway, specifically: - (building national Pride)
The Integrated Communications Plan is being finalised, and the plan is to begin our broadcasts at the end of March/beginning of April 2003. The TV/Radio advertisement has been approved, and filming is almost complete
The PR plan is being finalised and will be ready for implementation also around the same time. This is the most important part of the campaign as the real stories that emanate from SA will be told with a simple honesty that builds credibility.
The Brand Champion Conversion process, to enroll individuals and collectives/companies to help build the brand is being finalised, and will begin to be rolled out in the next couple of weeks. We will train staff in major corporates to fly the flag in thought word and deed.
Engaging the media - who have been surprisingly well disposed towards our message, we have appealed for support in terms of creating balance and context in the news, ensuring that stories about ordinary South African doing extraordinary things are profiled. We have appealed to them to help build a better, positive South Africa and to use the power they wield carefully in this regard.
The International Marketing plan to change how the world perceives, thinks and feels is being worked on, and the plan is to begin to be rolled within this fiscal year.
The web portal is fully operational and is updated daily. We have over 1300 pages of useful information about the country which is attracting over 160 000 page views a month. We are still using the domain name
We are creating an Information Resource Centre which will be a one stop repository for South African success stories for use by the media and by the general public. We are encouraging business people traveling abroad to use this facility so that they will be empowered to speak positively about the country when they speak abroad.
Communicating with South Africans abroad
This is a vital target market as they are credible authorities on the country having lived here. However, some of them are years out of date or defensive about their reasons to leave. We have commenced building a database to which we will send twice monthly positive stories on South Africa.
Engaging with South African corporates
As the knowledge of the IMC spreads, many of the people most well disposed to the Team SA message are knocking on our door and we are forging important relationships. Here are a few examples:
ABSA: I have briefed their advertising agency who are working on a very Pro-South African campaign. They will work off our brand key and ensure that our values are communicated clearly in all of their work.
Mr Price: have approached us and we are forging a number of possible interfaces. We have asked them to develop a range of clothing for us. They will support the Heritage Day Project, outlined below from a distribution perspective. We will also be training their staff in our Brand Champion programme.
Sasol : We are working closely with them to ensure excellent PR in New York during their listing in April and we are providing a copy of SA The Good News to all attendees. They are also creating one minute Good News Stories which will be broadcast before the tow news broadcasts on TV2. We have briefed their production house on the Brand SA Brand values and we have provided some of the stories (they will echo our radio stories)
Pick n Pay: Have asked that we provide a Brand Champion training module into their staff training - 40,-000 people.
Nedcor: Have asked that we train their staff - 22 000
Young Opera Singers : Last week 6 young black opera singers left to be mentored at the Sydney Opera House and we workshopped with them before they went so that they can be ambassadors for the country whilst they are abroad.
SARFU: We are working with Sarfu who are preparing the Rugby team for the world Cup later this year. The players will participate In the Heritage Day project. Their buses and all of their communication will carry the Alive With Possibility slogan, and we will train the team before departure.
Loeries: The advertising awards have created a new category: The Brand SA award which will replace the Chairman's Award and for which we will define the criteria. All entries must support Brand South African values and promote indigenous messaging. As from next year, all entries will have to supply proof of skills transfer during the creation of the advertising.
We are working closely with the SABC developing programming to support the promotion of South African Success stories.
We are working extremely closely with Proudly South Africa and feel the need to piggy back on each others campaigns increasingly as our work overlaps in so many instances.
10 years of Democracy - the IMC will work with various partners to ensure consistent messaging.
Heritage Day. We are working with the Department of Arts and Culture and the National Flag Company to promote the flying of the flag in outside South African homes. We are looking to create a merchandising pack whereby people can buy the flag, either on a flag pole or to fly from a wall from various retail outlets. Carte Blanche and other programmes will film high profile people erecting flags in their homes.
Long Walk to Freedom We are investigating the possibility of creating a ten kilometre walk in every major city on Freedom Day next year. We will link to the DACST celebrations and will promote the event with the SABC.
Brand Equity measurement
We are working to establish the Rand value of the SA brand. The research to do this huge task will also inform what we have to do to increase the value of the brand. In addition to our own financial performance, measured by the Brand SA portion of our export and tourist inputs and brand related Foreign Direct Investment, key inputs to the model are sourced from UNDP human development statistics and the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook. Improvements to our regional context in terms of human freedoms and the global context in terms of our competitiveness, are main drivers of value and are at the core of our future success as a national brand.
Support for IMC strategy for international brand roll out in the US and UK has recently been enhanced by a visit to South Africa by US IMC country manager Simon Barber, and Chris Kasrils, information officer at the London High Commission.
The two week program was designed to achieve the following objectives:
- Introduction to the SA branding process, key and roll out plans
- Familiarization with the activities and services of the CRC and GCIS
- Integration and alignment of country communication strategies
- Exposure to country communication imperatives and key performance areas for the 2003 -2004
During the visit they were exposed to senior officials, government communicators, local and international media sharing the challenges and successes faced in their efforts to communicate a compelling image of South Africa. They provided valuable input into the strategy for international brand-roll out and are currently involved in drawing up of country specific plans.
The Communication Resource Centre which aimed to provide International Monitoring and a rapid response mechanism to Government Communicators has move from theory to successful practice.
The CRC has continued to monitor foreign media to produce the daily foreign media summary and analysis. This report is circulated to a wide range of government communicators and opinion makers, forming an integral part of communication strategy formulation within and outside the public sector. Additional monitoring is undertaken to cover breaking news, special projects and provide a summary of foreign media coverage for a weekly media environment report.
We have been integrally involved in the African Union Summit, The WSSD and the Cricket World Cup, where we provided twice daily monitoring reports and were part of the Core Communication team drafting the South African messaging.
The CRC posted Dep. COO Tyrone Seale the Communications Managers, and visiting country manager Simon Barber to attend the State of the Nation address and the subsequent briefings. This provided a platform to establish valuable contacts with both government communicators and media to the activities of the CRC and identify opportunities for positioning the country as part of the country branding process.
Additional to the weekly economy and employment report , pre budget information was generated outlining the economic successes and challenges faced by the country in 2003. This article is posted on the www.safrica.info web portal, and has been circulated to various economy and trade journalists.
At the end of 2002 the weekly tourism report reached a limited stakeholder audience. Over the last month we have aimed to broaden the tourism reports' distribution list. We identified a need for the report not only to inform communication strategies of stakeholders but also to demonstrate the benefits of proactive communication to tourism authorities presently receiving little or no coverage abroad. The report now reaches South African Airways, various provincial and local tourism authorities, including a wider audience through a local tourism newsletter called "This Tourism Week" with 700 subscribers in the local tourism industry. "This Tourism Week" is written by an independent travel writer who in the current issue refers to the CRC tourism report "an impressive service".
Through the marketing of the monitoring services of the CRC the customer base and needs have evolved. There is a growing need for customization and packaging of information and communication products.
The CRC is currently updating and improving the "search option" of Digital Vigilance to cater for the addition focus on Africa and Asia to the list of key markets for SA Tourism and other stakeholders.
Research and writing
The CRC Communication managers compile weekly and monthly content analysis reports of international print and Internet-based media relating to coverage of South Africa abroad. These reports have are aimed at providing guidance to communicators in the public and private sector in the planning and amendment of communication strategies. The usefulness of these reports will be periodically solicited from the recipients of these reports through a feedback questionnaire.
Reports effectively highlighted areas of concern especially in terms of recurring negative themes that needed attention, as well as the relative paucity of positive media coverage relating to cluster activities. They nevertheless contained information on some positive media coverage received.
As part of the proactive communication strategy to demonstrate the values underlined in the brand key, the CRC actively solicits positive accounts of ordinary South Africans doing and achieving extraordinary things, such as the recent coverage relating to the Discovery 2003 Mt Everest team, which was also posted on the SA web portal (www.safrica.info)
In addition the CRC has established contact with various stakeholders as sources of South African success and human interest coverage.
In conclusion, we believe we are well on the way to helping the already changing mood of the country, encouraging all South Africans to become ambassadors for their country by explaining the role that each individual can play in creating a better life for all of us who live here. This year we will focus on delivery and on the International Roll out strategy to start changing international perceptions about this vibrant and wonderful land that we live in, Alive With Possibility.
People with disabilities
www.safrica.info and await the release of www.southafrica.info and www.southafrica.com. As soon as this is done, we will actively promote the site, and it will be used on all marketing material for SA Tourism and as many Government Departments as possible.
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