The South African government will, on 5 December 2003, acknowledge and honour communicators who have shown commitment, innovation and excellence in government communication. The Government Communicators' Awards (GCA) is an annual event, which seeks to appreciate and encourage excellence and professionalism in government communication.
The awards ceremony this year is the second after the inaugural event was held in Johannesburg last year. Minister in the Presidency, Dr Essop Pahad, officiates at the ceremony.
Government communicators from all spheres of government, national, provincial and local, will be recognised for improved delivery and commitment in their fields of work. Recognition also includes communicators based outside the country in South African missions abroad. The awards will recognise work done between October 2002 and August 2003.
The ceremony will be held at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Johannesburg.
The award categories are as follows:
- The Government Communicator of the Year Award: awarded to an overall winner who shall have shown quality and commitment in his/her work.
- The Bua Award: Bua is a Sotho word that means, "to speak". The Bua will be awarded to media liaison officers and departmental spokespersons that have displayed courage and commitment in the positive portrayal of government.
- Ubungcweti Award: Ubungcweti is a Zulu word for "excellence". The award recognises excellence in writing, editorial content, layout and design. This category also caters for contestants from the new media, namely: intranet, extranet, Internet, e-mail, sms technology and any other information and communications technology (ICT)-based platform.
- Special Category: This is a posthumous award for government communicators who passed away during the course of the year.
At the inaugural ceremony held last year the Government Communicator of the Year Award was won jointly by Sipho Ngwema from the National Prosecuting Authority and Onkgopotse JJ Tabane for the work done while with the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism on the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Ministers, deputy ministers, directors-general, media liaison officers, senior government officials, sponsor representatives and members of the media will be in attendance.
An independent panel drawn from representatives of the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef), the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Chairperson of the Communications Portfolio Committee has adjudicated the GCA this year.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)