GCIS budget vote 2003: Consolidated report

25 March 2003

25 March 2003

Branch: Centralised Services

Programme: Administration

Aim: Provides for the overall management of GCIS. It accommodates the costs of senior management and members of the Secretariat. It also comprises of components dealing with human resource, financial management and information technology, as well as other support services.

  1. Sub-programme: Human Resource Management and Development, Internal Communication, Special Programmes and Information Centre

Main highlights for the year:

During the period under review the sub-programme: HR continued to provide a support service to the Department with respect to:

  • The implementation of new Public Service Regulations
  • The management of the bursary budget and ensuring that training was in line with the departmental needs
  • The production and distribution of all internal communication publications and maintenance of a communication culture
  • The dealing with HIV/AIDs, gender, disability issues and providing employee assistance
  • The provision of information services to both internal and external clients
  • Facilitation of two-way communication in the organisation through staging of special events/presentations to staff and social functions for staff

In terms of our employment equity plan submitted to the Department of Labour, we set ourselves to achieve the following targets by the year 2005:

  Overall employment equity targets Employment equity target for women
Asian 3.0% 1.5%
African 70.5% 33.2%
Coloured 7.8% 3.4%
White 18.7% 3.0%

In terms of the disabled people:

Disabled persons 2.1%
Disabled target    2%

The statistics below reflects progress made to date towards reaching the said targets:

  Asian African Coloured White Total
  M F M F M F M F M F
  4 5 122 144 21 10 14 39 161 168
Disabled     3 1     2 1 5 2
Total 4 5 125 115 21 10 16 40 166 170
  9 240 31 56 336
Percentage 2.7% 71.4% 9.2% 16.7% 49.4% 50.6%

Of the 336 permanent staff, 7 are disabled people, representing 2% of the total staff complement.

  1. Office of the Chief Financial Officer - Sub-programme: Finance, Logistics and Auxiliary Services

Main highlights for the year:

An amount of R153 728 000 was allocated to GCIS in the financial year under review. R50m was allocated to the IMC, R3 000 000 to the MDDA and GCIS remained with R48 945 000 for operational purposes. 51,3% of the operational funds were directly utilised for communicating with the public through road shows, production material for distribution, Imbizo programmes, MPCC launches, trips by Communication Officers in rural areas and translations services.
The remaining percentage was used for indirect servicing of communication programmes. 86% of the IMC's budget was utilised for foreign marketing of South Africa through advertisements.

Following our submission to National Treasury regarding our personnel budget deficit, funds were allocated to offset our personnel shortfall. We are therefore happy to report to the Committee that 77% of our posts have been filled. Unfortunately we have taken slightly longer than originally envisaged in the filling of the posts because of the current Restructuring process to which all departments have to adhere. We therefore plan to fill the remaining vacancies during this new financial year as we proceed to launch more MPCCs.

Lastly, in line with the requirements of the PFMA and Treasury Regulations, we have developed our own financial policies. These policies have structured our financial procedures in such a manner that they ensure proper accountability and flexibility to allow line function work of communication to proceed without unnecessary hindrances.

  1. Sub-programme: Project Desk Office

Aim: To serve as a proactive delivery mechanism for improving government communications through sound project management interventions.

The directorate focused on the following issues:

  • Alignment of GCIS resource capacity to Government Communication Program (GCP) - Rolled out the GCP programme for 2002/03. Appointed project teams and briefed them about the GCP. Furthermore, the directorate assisted in developing communication strategies and key messages for various government communication campaigns
  • Improve project management capacity in GCIS - Project Management theory courses to 100 officers in GCIS head office and regional offices. Lessons learnt and best practices regarding GCP campaigns were shared with theme teams, clusters and GCIS.
  • Improve project management systems in GCIS - templates in the project management handbook revised to facilitate compliance by the teams with project management methodology. Commissioned a service provider to conduct a survey on the implementation of project management in GCIS and report as part of identifying areas for improvement
  • Securing cluster co-operation and departmental buy-in on GCP - Supported the development of 5 cluster communication strategies and presented to DG clusters and Cabinet committees.
  1. Office of the Chief Information Officer - Sub-programme: Information Management & Technology (IT&M)

In the period under review IT&M focussed on upgrading the IT infrastructure within GCIS. All the main servers in the regional offices were replaced with the latest low end servers suited for the environment. This initiative has resulted in improved IT resources within the regional offices.

In Head Office we have refurbished our server room, upgraded our email server and implemented a new storage solution. We have maintained our anti-virus agreements and improved security by implementing a firewall server, web security and upgraded our email filter.

We embarked on a major project with SITA to upgrade the GCIS WAN backbone infrastructure. The equipment has been procured and is currently being prepared for installation through SITA. The project is on track for completion at the end of this 2002/03 financial year.

We have also outsourced two major development projects to SITA. The Media Access System - which will improve, streamline and make more cost effective the cuttings service provided to departments - and the Online Directories are both in the pilot testing phase and are expected to go live within the next two weeks. The Policy and Research Chief Directorate and other government departments reporting on the media and doing media analysis will use the Media Access System. The Online Directories is a web based electronic directory that will be available on the GCIS and gov.za web sites.

We also redeveloped the GCIS web site to incorporate our corporate identity and to provide improved access to GCIS information.

  1. Sub-programme: Internal Audit

The unit co-ordinated an annual review of the risk assessment strategy with management in the Department. The strategy was used in updating the unit's three-year strategic plan and to develop its annual operational plan. It terms of the annual plan, twelve of the thirteen auditable areas identified have been audited. To date eight audit reports have been submitted to senior management and Audit Committee with the remaining four to be tabled by end of 2002/03 financial year.

Programme: Provincial and Local Liaison

Aim: Supports the provision of a development communication and information service to the population of South Africa, and is responsible for establishing community centres. It promotes communication partnerships with other departments; sets up information distribution networks in the regions; and identifies communities' information needs.

Main highlights for the year:

The programme for establishment of MPCCs is still on track. To date 36 MPCCs have been established with more than 300 services having been delivered from the three spheres of government to communities that have previously had no access to these services.

The chief directorate has also established 25 government information centres within the MPCCs, of which 17 are operational.

Meetings of the Provincial Heads of Communications are being held quarterly as part of building partnerships for integrated service delivery.
Furthermore, rural networks are being established to strengthen distribution of communication materials in rural area. A manual ward information system has also been developed and implemented.

In ensuring capacity building in our regional offices and Government Information Centres in various MPCCs, 70 officials received training on Microsoft Project 2000. Further training was provided to 10 senior and middle managers on PFMA while 30 received training on Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook.

A new function is the cascading of the government communication and information system to the local level. The focus entails closer integration of communication at the local government level into the system of government communication as a whole. An implementation plan for capacity development and communication structures at local level is at an advanced stage of negotiation with SALGA, Government Communication structures and other stakeholders.

The implementation plan emanates from the first conference of local government communicators convened by SALGA in June 2002.

Branch: Strategy and Content Management

Programme: Policy and Research

Aim: Policy and Research keeps GCIS informed of the environment within which Government is communicating and enables GCIS to stay abreast of developments relating to communication, information and the media. It also had responsibility for the process leading to the establishment of the MDDA.

Apart from the management function, the objectives of Policy and Research will be achieved through two sub-programmes:


- monitors and develops media, communication and information policies, while monitoring the development of government policies.


- assesses the information and communication needs of Government and the public.

Main highlights for the year

The Media Diversity Development Agency Act was passed by Parliament in mid-2002 and the Board was appointed by the President in December 2002. The MDDA Board held its first meeting in January 2003.

The directorate Policy, provided weekly communication environment analysis reports to GCIS Secretariat, and gave similar support to communicator co-ordinating structures such as the Pre-Cabinet Meeting and Communications Clusters. It provided Media Monitoring and Analysis during the Launch of the AU, WSSD, State of the Nation and the Budget.

During 2002/03 the chief directorate and the Communication Resource Centre (CRC) of the IMC worked together to achieve consistency of methods in CRC international media monitoring and GCIS domestic media monitoring.

The directorate Research, made three presentations to the GCF on research conducted during the year as part of ensuring that government communicators' work is informed by proper research analysis.

The directorate continues to conduct research in conjunction with other stakeholders, and to use this to support communication structures.

Programme: Government and Media Liaison

Aim: Government and Media Liaison aims to ensure comprehensive and coherent liaison between the mass media and Government by supporting a cluster of government communicators, convening co-ordination forums, and building the communications capacity of government departments. In addition to the management function, there are four sub-programmes:

National Liaison - ensures that national departments develop subsidiary communications strategies in line with the national communication strategy adopted by Cabinet each year, and monitors the implementation of those strategies.

International and Media Liaison - co-ordinates an international marketing programme for South Africa in collaboration with other stakeholders.

News Services - provides development information to community and mainstream media.

Client Training Services - co-ordinates training services to government communicators at national and provincial levels and aims to extend this to local government level.

Main highlights for the year:

During the year, quarterly Government Communication Forums were held with Heads of Communicators from national and provincial structures as part of ensuring coherence in government communication.

Furthermore, five communication clusters were convened regularly, with GCIS providing logistic and strategic support in developing cluster strategies. The five clusters mirrors the Inter-ministerial cabinet committee clusters as well as DG clusters and seek to promote synergy in government communication.

The sub-programme also arranged pre-cabinet meetings to facilitate planning of communication around matters to be tabled before Cabinet. Furthermore, regular press events and parliamentary briefings were arranged together with various ministries to provide effective dissemination of government information to community and mainstream media.

The international and national media is monitored and reports are compiled by the Communication Resource Centre (CRC) and circulated to missions via the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Bua Magazine, an interactive government communicators' magazine, that seeks to bring focus on topical issues, is produced on a quarterly basis.

Furthermore, BuaNews, an informative, current and relevant government news product is being produced on a regular basis with three qualitative daily editions available electronically and in print format. New requests are received daily for subscription to BuaNews.

Programme: Communication Service Agency (CSA)

Aim: The Communication Service Agency provides a range of media production services, such as advertisements, videos, radio programmes, photographs and designs to promote and improve the image of government. Apart from a management function, there are three subprogrammes:

Marketing and Distribution (MAD) - manages the corporate identity of government, develops strategies for marketing, events management, public relations and advertising, and buys media space in bulk on behalf of all government departments.

Product Development - develops broadcast strategies for inclusion in campaign and project communication plans, and produces videos and radio programmes for other departments, as well as providing graphic design and layout, exhibition design and photographic services.

Content Development - identifies government communication needs, identifies the public's information needs, and develops a content strategy for individual and transversal campaigns; provides editorial services and produces the SA Yearbook.

Main highlights for the year:

Information products

In 2002/03, the SA Yearbook was sold at bookshops for the first time. The publication remains the flagship of GCIS as it reflects the commitment of government and the people of South Africa to build a better life for all. Proudly South African has come on board for the first time, expanding the publication's marketing scope.

The CSA was involved in various government campaigns, making contributions in the fields of radio, video and print. These include, among others, the launch of the African Union, the development and presentation of the new National Orders, HIV/AIDS, the burial of Sarah Bartmann, the Imbizo Focus weeks and MPCC launches.

The CSA is responsible for a number of information products around the President's annual State of the Nation Address e.g newspaper adverts, leaflets, radio adverts etc.

The CSA also provides services to other Chief Directorates within the GCIS e.g. the editing of Bua Magazine and the Annual Report and information products for the MPCCs and GICs.

Through bulk-buying of media placement for the whole of government, MAD's ad placement for the period April 2002 to January 2003 totalled R42 million, representing an estimated saving of 20%.

Transformation of the advertising industry

The CSA was involved in the public hearings into the transformation of the marketing and advertising industry, held on 12 and 13 November 2002. Consultations between government and the industry took place over a year. Eight plenary sessions were held focusing on Adspend; Education and Training; Regulatory Frameworks; Corporate Identity; Industry, Employee and Shareholder profiles; and Segmentation Tools.

Recommendations presented during the hearings focused on:

  • The regulatory debate surrounding the industry
  • Expenditure on advertising, marketing and communication
  • Representivity in the industry
  • Affirmative procurement and the way forward to sustain the momentum of the transformation process.

Programme: International Marketing and Mobilisation

Aim: International Marketing and Mobilisation aims to market South Africa internationally. It is responsible for developing a brand identity for South Africa and ensuring sound perceptions of the country as a trade partner, role-player in international affairs, and as an investment and tourist destination.

Main highlights for the year:

The framework to guide our efforts to change how the world perceives, thinks and feels about South Africa has been completed, and culminated in the development of the Desired Brand Positioning (Unilever Brand Key). This defines out how we want the world to think and feel about South Africa relative to other countries within a competitive environment.

The process to translate the desired positioning into reality is underway, i.e., "ensure the total experience our target clients take away and believe to be true about South Africa after having heard of or/and interacted with South Africa at any point paints a consistent picture (how we want the world to think and feel about South Africa). Specifically:

  • The Architecture pointing out how to translate the Desired Country Positioning into expressions for Tourism and Trade & Industry has been completed.
  • The Tourism expression has also been completed
  • The process to translate the Desired Country Positioning into Trade & Industry expression is also underway.
  • The building blocks of the Internal Mobilization Programme are also underway, specifically:
    • The Integrated Communications Plan is being finalized (National Pride campaign), and the plan is to begin our broadcasts at the end of March/beginning of April 2003. The TV/Radio advertisement has been approved, and production has started.
    • PR plan is being finalized and will be ready for implementation also around the same time.
    • The Brand Champion Conversion process, to enroll individuals and collectives/companies to help build the brand is being finalised, and will begin to be implemented in the next couple of weeks.
    • Special projects such as Heritage Day Project where we aim to enable people to fly the SA flag in their homes will be implemented with full media support in conjunction with the relevant Government Department.

The International plan to change how the world perceives, thinks and feels is being strategised, and the plan is to begin to be implemented within this fiscal year.

Supporting Tools

Communication Resource Centre (CRC)

  • Monitoring
    The CRC has continued to monitor foreign media to produce the daily foreign media summary and analysis. This report is circulated to a wide range of government communicators and opinion makers, forming an integral part of communication strategy formulation within and outside the public sector. Additional monitoring is undertaken to cover breaking news, special projects and provide a summary of foreign media coverage for a weekly media environment report.

    The month of February was characterised by an increase in intensity of CRC monitoring resulting from the Cricket World Cup, State of the Nation address by the President, cabinet briefing week and the budget speech 2003. This necessitated the employment of a contract information co-ordinator to provide focused monitoring during this period.

    Media coverage and a special report of the State of the Nation address were provided to GCIS before and after the speech. This was followed by the intense monitoring of the parliamentary media briefing week activities where the clusters shared their delivery programme for the 2003 and set out the key areas of performance expected for this period.

    Weekly economy, tourism and employment reports are produced as well as specialist reports such as a pre budget article outlining the economic successes and challenges faced by the country in 2003.

  • Research and Writing
    The CRC Communication managers compile weekly and monthly content analysis reports of international print and Internet-based media relating to coverage of South Africa abroad. These reports have are aimed at providing guidance to the respective government clusters and communicators in the non-pubic sector in the planning and amendment of communication strategies.

    Reports effectively highlighted areas of concern especially in terms of recurring negative themes that needed attention, as well as the relative paucity of positive media coverage relating to cluster activities. They nevertheless contained information on some positive media coverage received. This enabled the clusters to evaluate the reach and content of solicited media coverage, and emphasised need for clusters (by implication government departments) to create and capitalise on media opportunities. Health and the South African Police Services are two departments that have requested to be included on the circulation list and have subsequently made use of CRC generated overview analyses in the development of their communication strategies.

  • General
    Country Manager Project: Support for IMC strategy for international brand roll out in the US and UK has recently been enhanced by a visit to South Africa by US IMC country manager Simon Barber, and Chris Kasrils, information officer at the London High Commission.

    The two-week program was designed to achieve the following objectives

    • Introduction to the SA branding process, key and roll out plans
    • Familiarization with the activities and services of the CRC and GCIS
    • Integration and alignment of country communication strategies
    • Exposure to country communication imperatives and key performance areas for the 2003 -2004

During the visit they were exposed to senior officials, government communicators, local and international media sharing the challenges and successes faced in their efforts to communicate a compelling image of South Africa. They provided valuable input into the strategy for international brand-roll out and are currently involved in drawing up of country plans.

Web Portal

www.safrica.info was launched in August with over 1300 pages of information, updated daily and focusing on positive imaging for the country. Currently achieving 160 000 page views per month. We anticipate the release of domain names www.southafrica.info and www.southafrica.com in the coming year and will then launch the site widely.


Hidden Edge - the IMC has sponsored the production of an updated version of the Hidden Edge publication, highlighting Science and Technology innovation. The revised format will include multi media format and exhibition content for global use.

IRC (Information Resource Centre) will become a library for South African success stories from business, Government, Tourism and general society. We will provide input to business people traveling abroad, speeches, conferences and the media.


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