As South Africa approaches the 30th anniversary of its democracy, it is essential to reflect on the various developments made since 1993 and the crucial role played by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in facilitating communication between the government, its citizens, and the international community. In a recent address on the GCIS Budget Vote for 2023/24, Minister in the Presidency Ms. Khumbudzo Ntshavheni provided insights into South Africa’s journey thus far and the evolving role of GCIS in promoting continued progress and resilience.
South Africa’s Progress over the Past Three Decades
Over the past thirty years, South Africa has made significant strides in various sectors, including transforming its physical landscape, integrating into the global economy, and empowering its black African majority, who were once marginalized and excluded. The GCIS has played a crucial role in communicating South Africa’s story of transformation and progress, engaging with local and international stakeholders, addressing concerns, and rallying support for the nation’s growth.
GCIS Plans for 2023/24 Financial Year
For the 2023/24 financial year, the GCIS plans to focus on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s priority areas, including addressing load-shedding, unemployment, poverty, crime, corruption, and service delivery. To achieve this, the GCIS will undertake initiatives such as conducting media briefings, developing engaging content, and coordinating advertising purchases for various departments and agencies. Community engagement programs like the Presidential Imbizo will continue to strengthen connections between the government and its citizens.
Leveraging Technology to Reach a Broader Audience
Recognizing the significant shift in communication brought about by technology, the GCIS will capitalize on digital platforms to reach a broader audience while simultaneously upskilling its workforce and upgrading its information systems. However, traditional methods of communication will not be neglected, ensuring all South Africans have access to information, regardless of their geographic location or available resources.
Collaboration with the Media
Collaboration with the media is crucial in effectively disseminating government information, and the GCIS seeks to strengthen its relationships with media organizations during the forthcoming financial year. Moreover, the GCIS will work towards transforming the marketing, advertising, and communications sector, emphasizing economic sustainability and inclusivity.
Achieving Objectives through Collaboration
With a budget allocation of R750,746 million for the 2023/24 financial year, the GCIS aims to achieve its objectives by collaborating with various departments, provinces, state-owned enterprises, and civil society partners. The GCIS remains committed to fostering social cohesion, nation-building, and maintaining a citizen-focused dialogue.
In conclusion, the 25-year anniversary of the GCIS serves as a testament to the organization’s dedication to the growth and progress of South Africa. As emphasized by Minister Ntshavheni, the GCIS remains committed to ensuring that all South Africans are included in the journey towards a brighter future.