The Portfolio Committee on Communications, together with the Select Committee on Public Enterprise and Communications welcomed a presentation from the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on its Covid-19-related programmes, as well as other related issues in government communication.
The two committees believe that GCIS is currently doing great work in keeping all South Africans informed about Covid-19 and the work of different government departments. However, they felt that more could still be done, especially in doubling quantities of printed material in all official languages to explain the different stages of the lockdown and what they mean.
The committees further welcomed a report from the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Jackson Mthembu, that GCIS is working together with the provincial and local government, as well as community media to reach the majority of South Africans in rural areas. According to Minister Mthembu, research conducted by the Human Science Research Council has indicated that 90% of South Africans confirm receiving messages from the government.
The committees heard from Minister Mthembu that the GCIS has concluded its process of recruiting a Director-General and will announce the appointment as soon as the recommended candidate gets approval from the Cabinet.
Some information with regards to the workings of the Covid-19 National Command Council also came to light during the meeting, in which the committees learned that the Council is constituted of 20 Ministers and that majority of its decisions are ratified by a full Cabinet before they are made in public.
Issued by Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, Boyce Maneli and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Tshitereke Matibe