Government Communicators' Awards nominations


Awards timeline

  • The Adjudication Panel recognises all projects between 1 October of the previous year and 31 September of the current year
  • The Call for Nominations/Entries opens on 1 June of the current year
  • The closing date for entries is 29 October of the current year
  • The Adjudication Panel will workshop all the entries received in November.
  • Finalists will be notified by mid-November
  • The awards gala event takes place in December annually.

Participation and criteria

  • Communicators from all spheres of government are eligible for the awards, excluding officials from Government Communications (GCIS).
  • The awards are open to government communicators, irrespective of rank.


  • Government communicators' awards entry form is now available on GCIS website.

Guidelines for entries

  • Name of individual or group.
  • Contact details of individual or group representative.
  • Category being entered into.
  • Biographical sketch of individual or background information on the group nominated.
  • Electronic highresolution colour photograph of individual or group on CD (critical for multimedia production)
  • A detailed motivation on why the individual, campaign/project is exceptional.This should include the communication strategy and media plan outlining the objectives, plan, purpose, target audience, etc.
  • Additional supportive material is critical for proper adjudication and should include summaries and examples of the products used in the execution of the communication strategy or media plan. These can include:
    • audiovisual material
    • posters (no bigger than an A4)
    • pamphlets
    • news clips
    • statements or releases
    • extracts from newspapers
    • reference and feedback from external stakeholders.


  • The process will be open and transparent.
  • Entry forms that do not meet the requirements will be disqualified.
  • The decision of the Adjudication Panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Each entrant assumes full responsibility in respect of the entry and quality of support material and dis­charges the Adjudication Panel from any responsibility in respect of third parties.
  • Members of the Awards Project Team and Adjudication Panel are not eligible for the awards or for nomi­nation.
  • Where judges believe that an entry has been entered into the incorrect category, they have the right to change it to a suitable category.
  • Any submitted material cannot be claimed back after the competition unless through prior arrangement.

Closing date is 31 January 2010.


  • National Bua Award
  • Provincial Bua Award
  • Local Bua Award
  • National Ubungcweti Award
  • Provincial Ubungcweti Award
  • Local Ubungcweti Award
  • Zwahashu Award
  • Merit Award
  • Government Communicator of the Year Award.

Bua Award

Bua means "to speak" in Setswana. This category caters for the output by ministerial liaison officers (MLOs) and departmental spokespersons on an INDIVIDUAL basis.

The award recognises individual communicators who display courage, commitment, dedication and discipline in their work. These are communicators who, at all times, go an extra mile to get the job done.

Entries/nominations will be judged on:

  • content development (speech writing, opinion pieces, editorials, media statements, press releases, press briefings)
  • media management (accessibility and availability)
  • turnaround time - rapid response (especially during a crisis, how long does it take the MLO to respond to the media when a story breaks?)
  • reaching the objectives and target audience set out in the communication strategy and media relations programme
  • quality and quantity of media coverage and engagement
  • level of face to face engagement
  • development of an educated circle of media contacts
  • production of supporting collateral, e.g. fact sheets and frequently asked questions
  • review of response times
  • consistency of messages in line with the departmental/governmental policies
  • efficient and professional media services
  • relevance to the communication environment
  • managing crisis communication situations affectively.

Ubungcweti Award

Ubungcweti means “excellence” in isiZulu. The category recognises excellence in communication management the award caters for GROUPS only.

Entries will be judged on:

  • reaching the objectives and target audience as set out in the communication strategy, media programme and campaign plan
  • consistency of messages (content) in line with departmental/governmental policies
  • analysis of reach and impact of campaign
  • quality and quantity of media coverage and engagement
  • samples of communication collateral developed, produced and distributed in appropriate channels
  • implementation report aligned to budget
  • originality, innovation and creativity
  • appropriate use of communication channels and tools
  • promotion of multilingualism
  • relevance to communication environment
  • promotion of development communication – public participation platforms
  • use of new media platforms
  • resource management
  • handling crisis communication situations effectively
  • intergovernmental relations – how well the campaign was rolled out by provincial and local government levels.

Zwahashu Award

Zwahashu means “our issues” in Tshivenda. This award recognises excellence in all aspects of internal communication supported by the existence of an approved internal communication plan. The award caters for groups at all three spheres of government. The category will only award one Zwahashu winner, regardless of the sphere.

Entries will be judged on:

  • internal communication programme developed and implemented aligned to the communication strategy
  • consistency of messages (content) in line with departmental/governmental policies
  • implementation report aligned to the budget of the internal communication programme
  • delivery of communication content via planned channels
  • samples of communication collateral produced and distributed
  • activity schedule with budget
  • number of employee briefings undertaken
  • regular engagement by senior management
  • staff publications
  • correspondence, e.g. notice boards, e-mail, memos
  • events (employee briefings/engagement by senior management)
  • promotion of multilingualism
  • relevance to communication environment
  • use of new media platforms.

Merit Award

This award caters for a public or private sector communicator (CEO level) whose communication has served as an excellent example of good communication and has served to heighten the profession to various publics. The award will serve as an honorary award to that specific individual. The award is meant to strengthen relations with stakeholders in the private sector, as well as raise the standard of the Government Communicators’ Awards.

Government Communicator of the Year Award

This is the main award and one winner is selected from all entries received.The individual/group will have shown outstanding quality and excellence.

Conditions of use

  • Any monetary prize must be used in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act.
  • Normal procurement procedures will be followed and no alcohol can be bought with the funds.
  • The quotes should be sent to GCIS with a detailed outline of what the funds will cover – GCIS will sign the quote and then pay for the team-building/training directly. A final invoice is required.
  • A detailed report will also be required for auditing purposes on the outcomes of the training/team­building.


Prizes in previous ceremonies included tools of trade such as laptops, digital cameras, cell phones, fax machines, printers and airline tickets.

  • Category winners receive a trophy and a certificate of recognition
  • Runners-up receive a certificate of recognition.
  • Government Communicator of the Year
    • Floating trophy for six months after which it has to be returned to GCIS
    • Keepsake trophy
    • Certificate of Recognition
    • Training attachment for individual winners /team-building for group winners.

Other important information

  • The closing date for nominations is 29 October 2010.
  • All entries must be posted or delivered to GCIS:
    Attention: Meriam Phasha or Lwazi Mayekiso
    GCIS, Private Bag X745, Pretoria, 0001
    GCIS, Midtown Building, corner of Prinsloo and Vermeulen streets, Pretoria.