ATC200604: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on its deliberations onBudget Vote 4: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), dated 26 May 2020

Communications

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Communications on its deliberations onBudget Vote 4: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), dated 26 May 2020

 

The Portfolio Committee on Communications (the Committee), having considered Budget Vote 4: Government Communication and Information Systems’ Annual Performance Plans (APPs) for 2019/20 – 2021/22, reports asfollows:

 

1.         Introduction

Section 55(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, states that the National Assembly must provide for mechanisms (a) to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it; and (b) to maintain oversight of (i) the exercise of national executive authority including the implementation of legislation; and (ii) any organ of state. In terms of the Public Finance Management Act(PFMA), the Accounting Officers must provide Parliament or the relevant legislature with their respective institution’s Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and where applicable with its Annual Performance Plan (APP).

The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act was promulgated in 2009, and provides Parliament with powers to reject or recommend the approval of departments’ budgets. The Act also makes provision for the implementation of recommendations emanating from the committee’s oversight reports.

The Committee met withGCIS on 14 May 2020 in a virtual meeting due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Because of the National State of Disaster in South Africa as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Parliament has had to adopt news ways of doing business. As a result, the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and Brand South Africa (BSA), both entities of the Department, did not appear before the Committee in time before processing of budget vote. It is expected that through the scheduling of the Committee programming, the entity reporting to GCIS will be afforded an opportunity to present its Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plans as is the requirement (by law).

 

2.         National Development Plan (NDP)

In his State of the Nation Addresson 20 June 2019, the President outlined the roadmap for thesixth administration of government as informed by the electoral mandate.He also introduced seven priorities to guide the work of this administration. The MTSF 2019-2024 is therefore an implementationplan and monitoring framework for achieving the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030priorities for the sixth administration of government, taking into consideration that only ten years remain to achieve the goals set out in the NDP 2030. For this reason, the next five years has been dubbed as the era of Khawuleza, whichis about working together to implement the MTSF 2019 - 2024 at speed.

Over the next five years the work of the GCIS will be closely guided by the MTSF 2019-2024 and theseven priorities that emanate from it. These include:

Priority 1: Capable, ethical and developmentalstate;

Priority 2: Economic transformation and job creation;

Priority 3: Education, skills and health;

Priority 4: Consolidating the social wage throughreliable and quality basic services;

Priority 5: Spatial integration, human settlementsand local government;

Priority 6: Social cohesion and safe communities; and

Priority 7: A better Africa and world.

The role of communication and an integratedcommunication system will be key,and the GCISis the vehicle we will turn to. Section 195(g) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996forms the basis of the formation of the GCIS, whereit stipulates that in order to foster transparency, thepublic should be provided with information that istimely, accurate and importantly, accessible.

As mentioned above, the MTSF period is premised by the National Development Plan Agenda which started by setting out a long-term vision for the country and provided the programme through which South Africa can advance radical economic transformation through development planning. The MTSF 2014 - 2019 outlined the plan and outcome-based monitoring framework for implementing the NDP during the country’s fifth democratic administration. This MTSF 2019-2024, which covers the five-year period from 2019 to 2024, outlines the implementation priorities across South Africa’s national development priorities for the sixth administration.

In addition to being a five-year implementation plan, the MTSF 2019-2024 is also an integrated monitoring framework. It promotes alignment, coordination and, ultimately,full integration of all development planning instruments into an integratedframework, bearing results without duplication, role conflict ordevelopmentcontradictions, as well as better coordination of implementation through the districtbased delivery model.

As a five-year building block towards achieving Vision 2030, all national sector plans, provincial growth and development strategies, municipal integrated development plans, departmental strategic plans and annual performance plans must be aligned to the MTSF 2019-2024.

The MTSF document recognises that a developmental state has to be embedded in society, build constructiverelations, collaborate with all sectors of society, and empower citizens tobe active agents of change in communities. Improved communication,consultation and engagement by government with key stakeholders,particularly citizens, will enhancethe state’s legitimacy and build public trust. And this is the primary role of the GCIS.

 

3.         GCIS Strategic Plan 2019-2024

The focus of Strategic Plans must be on issues that are strategically important, linked to and flowing fromvarious plans developed within institutions to fulfil their mandates, especially Performance Agreementsbetween the President and Ministers and Service Delivery Agreements entered into in terms of the broadstrategic outcomes.

Operational issues such as an institution’s finances, supply chain management,information systems or human resources can be considered strategic priorities if they have to be addressedto facilitate improved performance. Similarly, if an institution delivers services inefficiently, improvingproductivity would be a legitimate strategic priority.Figure below gives an overview of the structure and content of Strategic Plans:

Part A of the Strategic Plan focuses on a strategic overview of the sector and department or public entity,and specifies the institution’s vision, mission, values and the strategic outcome-oriented goals it aims toachieve over a five-year period.

Part B looks at specific strategic objectives and their resource implications and the risks that need to bemanaged to achieve them. Strategic objectives should be discussed in the context of approved programmebudget structures.

Part C considers links to other plans such as the institution’s long-term infrastructure plan, its conditionalgrants, plans to review its public entities and the management of its public-private partnerships.

In the coming period theGCIS will work to harness the various communicationstructures across the government communicationsystem to expand communication to more SouthAfricans. A greater focus will be placed on enhancedcoordination across government departments, alongwith strengthening coordination in local, provincialand national spheres.

The GCIS will ensure that all majorpolicies on the seven priories are communicatedeffectively to the citizens. GCIS also intends to go out of its way to remind citizens of theirrights and obligations, especially with regard tohelping government address some of the challengessuch as Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The five-year Strategic Plan directs government communicators on what communication activities willbe undertaken in building an ideal South Africa. The plan identifies communication as a tool to improve the performance of government by providingaccurate and timely government information to thecitizens.

Over the five-yearperiod, the GICS will focus on how communication is coordinated across governmentdepartments. The strengthening of coordination inlocal, provincial and national spheres holds enormouspotential for advancing the government message.

 

4.         The Department’s APP 2019/20 – 2020/22

An Annual Performance Plan (APP) sets out what the institution intends doing in the upcoming financial year and during the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) to implement its Strategic Plan. The document sets out performance indicators and targets for budget programmes, and sub-programmes where relevant, to facilitate the institution realising its goals and objectives set out in the Strategic Plan.

 

4.1        The Mandate

The mandate of the Government Communication and Information System is derived from section 195(g) of theConstitution, which stipulates that the public should be provided with information that is timely, accurate andaccessible. This is in support of the constitutional principles of freedom of expression, transparency andopenness of government.

Government’s mandate requires that its communication be expanded to enhance access to information that enables the public to participate in the country’s transformation and in bettering their own lives; thatit should bring the realities of our emergent andthriving democracy to the attention of the internationalcommunity; and promote the African Renaissance,including regional integration and implementation ofpeople-centred development programmes.

The primary responsibility of the GCIS is to ensurethe democratic strength, success and security of thecountry through rapid, responsive and continuous communication of government’s achievements in meeting the mandate to governgiven by the citizens ofSouth Africa. The strategic intent speaks of necessityand therefore of the broad agenda of the manifesto ofthe ruling party.

Therefore, the GCIS is responsible for providingstrategic leadership and coordinating a governmentcommunication system that ensures that the public isinformed and have access to government programmes and policies that benefit them.

This GCIS Strategic Plan is informed by the above-statedmandate, various relevant legislative mandates,and related government policies and directivesoutlined in legislative and policy instruments outlined in the Strategic Plan.

To achieve this constitutional mandate, GCIS plays a central role in the coordination of government’s system. Its work cuts across national, provincial and localgovernment, to assist in their effective communication.

The Department is at the heart of dissemination ofvaluable information to the citizens and uses variousplatforms to reach South Africans across the spectrum.It uses print media such as Vuk’uzenzele newspaper,PSM magazine and electronic media such as NewsService (SANews); the government website and MyDistrict Today newsletter to share information.

The government website (www.gov.za) is the top South African government website. The website is where most South Africans go to first for information about government.

Through the seven priorities articulated in the MTSF2019-2024, the sixth democratic administration has therefore presented the structure that the GCIS will use tocoordinate its work and areas where it will focus government communication over the next five years.

 

5.         Departmental budget allocation and programmes

The Department has a budget allocation of R720.5 million and R 763.2 million in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 financial years respectively.

Compensation of employees compriseson average 62 percent of the budget over the medium term. A total of 63 percent of the Department’s allocation over the medium term is spent in the Programme:Content Processing and Dissemination as well asthe Programme: Intergovernmental Coordinationand Stakeholder Management, and 37 percent in the Programme: Administration. The department’s funded establishment is expected to be 469 permanent posts.

Spending on goods and services over the mediumterm is expected to be primarily on operating leases,Subsistence and Travel (S&T) and operating expensesrelating to the publication and distribution of themonthly Vuk’uzenzele newspaper. The departmentwill focus over the medium term on coordinating andprofessionalising government communication andmaking it as cost-effective as possible.

IT infrastructurewill be upgraded to improve systems performanceto handle more data and automation of businessprocesses. The use of Skype for business will beextended over the medium term for virtual meetingsand reduce the cost of S&T for the GCIS.

The GCIS will maintain software licences for its electronic office applications. The department will over the MTEF request additionalfunds to renew its aging IT infrastructure in both the provincial and head offices. It will also introduce an online sourcing of human capital throughe-Recruitment by automating the training request andapproval process. In addition, the Audit Risk Softwareis used to automate data analysis and increase audit efficiency.

Lastly, The GCIS willupskill staff and further ensure they are multi-skilled touse different communication platforms or approachesto enhance communication outputs.The five-year strategic plan will enable more communities to receive public information through the GCIS, leading the coordination of integrated campaigns which will intensify communication with the citizenry, overall development and social cohesion.

 

5.1        Expenditure analysis

The National Development Plan emphasises the need to unite all South Africans around a common goal, ensure citizens are active in their own development, and builda capable and developmental state.  This is givenexpression byPriority 6 (Building a  capable,  ethical  and  developmental  state) of government’s  2019‐2024 medium‐term strategic framework, with which the work of the Government Communication and Information System is aligned. To support this priority over the medium term, the  department will  continue  to  focus on providing and facilitating strategic government communications, and facilitating active citizen participation. 

The Department’s total budget is R2.3 billion over the MTEF period. As the work of the Department is knowledge based, spending on compensation of employees across all programmes accounts for an estimated 40.9 per cent (R938.5 million) of its total budget over the medium term, increasing at an average annual rate of 6.5 per cent.

Transfers to Brand South Africa and the Media Development and Diversity Agency account for an estimated 34.5 per cent (R784.7 million) of the total budget. 

 

5.1.1     Providing and facilitating strategic government communications

One of the key functions of the Department is to provide the public with information about government policies, plans, programmes and activities. The department uses its Vuk’uzenzele newspaper and weekly newsletter, My District Today, to disseminate information  that  empowers  South  African  communities  to  participate  in government programmes. Information published in Vuk’uzenzele focuses on key government priorities such as service delivery and rural development projects and publishes advertisements for vacant government posts.

In addition tothe production and  distribution  of  a  targeted  18.7 million  copies  and  9 600 Braille  copies  of 22 editions of Vuk’uzenzele in each year of the medium term, the department plans to produce 14 716 copies of various publications across core programmes, including various communication products and reports. The printing and distribution costs for Vuk’uzenzele are expected to amount to R85 million over the MTEF period in the Products and Platforms subprogramme in the Content Processing and Dissemination programme. 

To provide guidance and assistance  to  government  communicators  on  how  to  develop  communications strategies and better understand the broader communications environment, the department plans to produce Vote 4: Government Communication and Information System3330 cluster reports on perceptions of government delivery and performance, and 36 reports based on surveys conducted on behalf of various national departments and premiers’ offices.

In support of deepening its relations with the media, the department also drives a proactive and reactive media liaison strategy by hosting cluster and Cabinet media briefings, and communicating with the public through activities such as door‐to‐door visits, community workshops and  gatherings  in  all  provinces. 

These activities arecarried out in  the  Content Processing  and  Dissemination  programme,  which  has  a  total  operational  budget  of  R528 million  over  the medium term. The Department will aim to reduce government’s cost of advertising in the media over the medium term while maintaining the visibility of its communications campaigns.

This will entail providing an estimated 1 000 bulk‐buying services to other government departments for media advertising; media production services including 1 050 photographic and video products and  services;  and  240  live  radio  products  and  services  such  as advertisements, the hosting of talk shows and the compilation of voice‐overs. The provision of these services is funded through the communications budgets  of  client  departments  and  entities  at  an  estimated  cost  of R250 million per year over the medium term. 

The Department manages the interface between  government  and  commercial  and  community  media,  and provides  support  to  Cabinet  through  regular  media  briefings  duringwhich  the  decisions  of  the  executive  are communicated to the public. To carry out these activities, R10 million is allocated over the medium term in the Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder  Management  programme,  which  has  a  total  budget  of R423.1 million over the MTEF period.

The Department has embraced the move towards the fourth industrial revolution by adopting new technology to deliver government’s messages to citizens in more creative and interactive ways, such as the use of more communications content on government websites and social media platforms.

To stay abreast of and manage a rapidly changing telecommunications environment  and  respond  in  increasingly  able  and  agile  ways,  the department  has earmarked  R7 million  in  the Intergovernmental  Coordination  and  Stakeholder Management programme for the management of the department’s website and social media accounts, subscriptions to digital media accounts, and research on public opinion.  

 

5.1.2     Facilitating active citizen participation

The Department is committed to aligning provincial and local communications strategies with the  national communication  strategy  framework.  This entails providing information on government services  directly  to communities through outreach campaigns in high‐traffic areas such as taxi ranks, shopping malls and commuter trains, as well as talk shows on community radio and television stations.

Accordingly, over the medium term, the Department plans to conduct an estimated 9 306 outreach campaigns to improve public participation in government policies, plans, programmes and achievements. 

These comprise 1 140 development communications activations per year; 1 710 community and stakeholder liaison visits per year;and 252 marketing events  at  Thusong  service  centres  per  year.  These activities arecarried out in  the Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management programme at an estimated cost of R10 million over the MTEF period. The Department plans to continue the Imbizo programme, which facilitates interactions between political principals and the public, and develops content for print and electronic products, including leaflets during the State of the Nation Address, at an estimated cost of R540 000 per year over the medium term.

 

6.         Programme performance

6.1        Programme 1: Administration

The purposes of this programme is to providestrategicleadership,managementandsupportservicestothe Department.

The programme’s function are organised into the following five subprogrammes:

  • SM is responsible for developing and implementing SM processes, procedures and systems in compliance with relevant legislation. These include coordination the development and implementation of the Department’s Strategic Plan and APPs, performance monitoring and reporting, and implementing an enterprise risk management plan for the department;
  • HR is responsible for strategic leadership in the implementation of the Department’s HR management strategy;
  • IM&T is responsible for the establishment and support of IM&T systems in the GCIS;
  • The CFO provides the Department with overall financial and supply chain and facility management services, and guides management in complying with legislative requirements, budget planning and administration; and
  • Internal Audit improves governance, risk management and control processes.

 

6.2        Programme 2: Content Processing and Dissemination

The purpose of this programme is to provide strategic leadership in government communication to ensure coherence, coordination, consistency, quality, impact and responsiveness.

The programme has the following subprogrammes:

Programme Management for Content Processing and Dissemination coordinates strategic planning for communications in the Department and other government Departments and ensures adherence to standards for government communications.

Policy and Research conducts research to assess the information needs of the public and how government should address these needs; monitors media coverage of issues affecting government and the country; provides analysis on how the media interprets and reports on government policies and programmes; formulates policy proposals; assess public perceptions on government performance; and oversees the process of reviewing government communications policy by monitoring its implementation and facilitating workshops.

 

 

 

Products and Platformsdevelops content for the department; provides language services for products that require translation; conducts editing and proofreading; manages the Department’s and government’s websites; produces government publications; provides social media and news services; and develops the national communication strategy.

Communication Service Agency provides media bulk-buying and media production services to all spheres of government; develops distribution strategies for all government communications; oversees the outsourcing of distribution services to service providers; manages government’s corporate identity; and provides marketing services for the department and other government departments.

Entity Oversight monitors the implementation of polices by Brand South Africa and the Media Development and Diversity Agency, and provides guidance on and oversees their governance matters.

Media Policy conducts research and develops print media, new media and communications policies for government.

6.3      Programme 3: Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management

The purpose of the programme is to implement development communication through mediated and unmediated communication channels, and foster sound stakeholder relationsand partnerships.

Objectives

  • Improve interdepartmental coordination to ensure that all government messages are coherent and aligned by jointly planning and sharing communications messages across the three spheres of government over the medium term;
  • Ensure an informed and empowered citizenry on government’s policies, plans, programmes and achievements, and increase public participation in government’s activities by engaging with stakeholders over the medium term; and
  • Implement a proactive and reactive media engagement system by building, maintaining and improving relations with the media, and driving government’s communication agenda over the medium term.

The programme has the following subprogrammes:

Programme Management for Intergovernmental Coordination and Stakeholder Management ensures a well-functioning communications system that proactively informs and engages the public, and manages and oversees the implementation of development communications. It does this by building sound stakeholder relations and partnerships, and ensuring thatthepublic is informed about government policies and programmes.

Provincial and Local Liaison ensures that the national communication strategy is aligned with provincial and local communication strategies; procures time on media channels and platforms to promote government messages to the public at the local government level; promotes the Thusong Service Centres to the public; and coordinates the Imbizo programme.

Media Engagementleads and drives interaction and communication between government and the media; ensures effective liaison between ministers and the media; manages ongoing media liaison services to government by providing government information; establishes, strengthens and maintains relationships with foreign and independent media; and establishes relations with South African missions to disseminate government information and key targeted messages.

Cluster Supervision (Human Development, Social Protection, and Governance and Administration) provides strategic cluster communications advice and support to national departments and leadership on key cluster communication issues and campaigns; and coordinates Cabinet cluster communications and development of government’s communications programme. This subprogramme also develops communications strategies and key messages for the campaigns of departments in these clusters.

Cluster Supervision (Economic and Infrastructure, Justice and International) provides strategic cluster communication advice and support to national departments and leadership on key cluster communication issues and campaigns; and coordinates Cabinet cluster communications and the development of government’s communications programme. This subprogramme also develops communications strategies and key messages for the campaigns of departments in these clusters.

 

7.         Entities of the Department

The Department has two entities reporting to it: Brand South Africa and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA). However, only MDDA is accountable to the Portfolio Committee on Communications whileBrand South Africa is accountable to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. Due to constraints that come with Covid-19, the Committee could not consider the Strategic Plan and APP of the MDDA. The Committee would programme the consideration of MDDA Strategic Plan and APP for the next term on the parliamentary programme.

 

 

7.1        BSA

Brand South Africa was established as a trust in 2002 and Gazetted as a schedule 3A public entity in terms of thePublic Finance Management Act (1999) in 2006 to manage South Africa’s branding in order to improve its globalappeal and competitiveness.

The entity’s primary objective is to develop and implement proactive andcoordinated marketing, communications and reputation management strategies for South Africa to attractinvestment, trade and tourism.

Through several planned campaigns over the medium term, the entity aims to encourage South Africans tobreathe life into the national identity. Key among these is the Play Your Part campaign, which seeks to promotestrong South African values, a South African identity and constitutional awareness by encouraging citizens toparticipate in democratic processes.

One of the campaign’s initiatives is a project to promote constitutionalawareness, which has a budget of R32 million for 9 Play Your Part activities and 16 marketing platforms per yearover the MTEF period. All domestic campaigns will comprise community engagements and outdoor or above theline advertisements that promote active citizenship.

Expenditure for campaigns is in the brand marketingand reputation management programme, which has a total budget of R297.9 million over the medium term.

An integral part of the entity’s mandate is to promote South Africa as a brand that attracts local and internationalinvestment. Accordingly, to monitor the effectiveness of its efforts to build international media partnerships toportray South Africa as a favorable destination for investment, the entity will continue to commission andsubscribe to key research indexes that track factors such as domestic and investor perceptions.

The cost ofcommissioning and subscribing to these studies is estimated at R7 million per year over the medium term in thestakeholder relations programme.

The entity funds its activities through transfer payments from the department, which are expected to increaseat an average annual rate of 4.4 per cent, from R207.9 million in 2019/20 to R236.6 million in 2022/23, whiletotal revenue is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 4.2 per cent over the same period.

In line withthis, total expenditure is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 4.2 per cent, from R218.9 million in2019/20 to R247.6 million in 2022/23.

 

7.2        MDDA

The Media Development and Diversity Agency was set up in terms of the Media Development and DiversityAgency Act (2002) to enable historically disadvantaged communities and individuals to gain access to the media.

Its mandate is to create an enabling environment for media development and diversity to reflect the needs andaspirations of all South Africans; redress the exclusion and marginalisation of disadvantaged communities andpeople from access to the media and the media industry; and promote media development and diversity byproviding support primarily to community and small commercial media projects.

The agency aims to ensure thatall citizens are able to access information in a language of their choice, and to transform media access, ownershipand control patterns in South Africa.

The agency aims to continue encouraging media diversity in a rapidly changing telecommunicationsenvironment by placing emphasis on promoting indigenous languages and communities that are underservedby the mainstream media, with a focus on gender equity, people living with disabilities, and young people.

Assuch, over the MTEF period, the agency plans to focus on providing financial and non‐financial support to60 community broadcast projects, as well as9 communities and 11 small commercial print and digital projects.

Overthe medium term, an estimated R67.5 million is earmarked to provide financial support to community broadcastprojects, and R13.7 million for community and small commercial print and digital projects. By investing ininitiatives that display good governance, business management skills and capabilities for content generation,the agency intends to ensure the sustainability of the community media sector. An estimated R9.7 million is setaside over the medium term to provide projects with non‐financial support through training and sector research.

Of this amount, R1.5 million is allocated to providing training to a targeted 120 projects to help bridge skills gaps.However, the number of projects supported depends on the quality and quantity of applications received, andon how much funding is available.

Total expenditure is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 12.2 per cent, from R69 million in 2019/20to R97.6 million in 2022/23. The agency expects to derive 93.5 per cent (R272 million) of its total revenue overthe medium term through transfers from national government and non‐governmental donors, of whichR104.1 million will be transferred from the Department.

 

8.         Committee Observations and Recommendations

8.1        Observations

The Committee:

  1. commended GCIS on executing its mandate well during the Covid-19 pandemic andensuring that citizens stayinformed;
    1. that this energy should be sustained beyond the epidemic;
  2. noted that the Director General’s appointment is awaiting Cabinet sitting;
  3. congratulated the GCIS for its establishment and accurate maintenanceofthe Online Government Directory;
  4. noted that 73 per cent of the budget is for compensation of employees and funding SOE’s (inline with the treasury threshold);
  5. noted that innovation is fundamental for GCIS to reach communities that struggle with government communication;
  6. noted that engagement with the Minister of Finance to request additional budget for purposes of effective communication to communities is underway;
  7. further noted that the effective communication thus far is as a result of stakeholder relations and partnership with the private sector;
  8. commends the Department for a clear strategy on Gender-Based-Violence;
  9. appreciates the efforts of the GCIS to ensure maximum propagation of government information during the pandemic; and
  10. congratulatesGCIS for receiving yet another clean audit, while noting:
    1. that GCIS should endeavor to maintain the clean audit taking into consideration the COVID-19 epidemic;
    2. the Department’s good performance especially in the area of financial sustainability;
    3. with concern that only less than 20 percent of its budget available for its operation; and
    4. with concern that 76 per cent of its total budget was allocated to compensation of employees (CoE) and transfer payments to public entities, leaving minimal funds for operation purposes; and

(xi) noted with concern that the community print and broadcasting media have equally suffered as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Committee noted that the GCIS Strategic Plan and APP might be amended if budget allocations are adjusted by the Minister of Finance as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

Lastly, the Committee expressed its concern about the inadequate budget allocation for GCIS, given the important work it does against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

8.2        Recommendations

The Committee recommends that the Minister should ensure that the GCIS:

  1. must fill all the critical positions that are vacant;
  2. provide some estimated budget figures to indicate how much it had been spent so far as a result of communicating government information on COVID-19;
  3. must engage National Treasury on ways to increase budget allocation;
  4. must provide a list of those contractors and service providers attached to the GCIS as well as the details of contracts;
  5. must continue to be innovative in order to ensure that rural communities gain access to government information at all costs; and
  6. must continue to appear before the Committee to provide a detailed report on all its (and entities reporting to it) initiatives to counter the spread of COVID-19 pandemic; and
  7. must direct advertising and other support for the community print and broadcasting media.

 

Lastly, the Committee commits itself to explore possibilities to campaign for an increased budget for the GCIS in order in line with its constitutional mandate to provide South Africans with quality and accurate information.

 

Report to be considered.

 

Documents

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