Obed Bapela - Launch of Public Sector Manager Magazine

14 March 2012

14 March 2012

Mr Jimmy Manyi Chief Executive Officer GCIS
Senior Managers at GCIS
Government Communication Managers 
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
Programme Director

I would like to begin by congratulating Government Communication Information Services (GCIS) for seeing to it that an idea conceived some time ago has come to life.

I am highly honoured that, as a former journalist and writer myself to be addressing the esteemed guests gathered here today for the Official Launch of the Public Sector Manager (PSM).

As part of the Executive Leadership in The Presidency, I am particularly proud to be part of the official launch of a venture that embodies innovation, creativity and passion in our Public Service.

This is a wonderful initiative which its purpose to educate; serves as a conduit of information; increase awareness and motivate Public Sector leaders to become more engaged in the government communication and to be in touch with  core issues of service delivery that affect the people.

Programme Director:

Esteem guests we are gathered here this evening because Government Communications- (GCIS) has taken seriously its strategic role as the pulse of excellence in government communication.

In this role, the GCIS team reflected little more than a year ago on the importance of communication among public servants and public sector managers in particular.

In particular, it was the vision born of Mr Vusi Mona, Deputy CEO and Head of the Communication and Content Management Branch of GCIS, The initiative gave rise to   the communication platform amongst public sector managers.

This vision identified the need to build pride and prestige among public sector managers across all spheres of government and State entities who often take a beating in public discourse on our Public Service.

This vision fed off the belief that excellence, hard work and the quest to make a positive difference in the lives of ordinary South Africans is the norm – not the exception – in the Public Service.

And this vision sought to provide a platform that would equip public sector managers with policy insights from the point of view of the Public Service itself – a fundamental commodity that has been hard to come by up to now.

“If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it for yourself and others will read it as well”.  Toni Morrison

Within weeks of this revelation, the GCIS team began reconfiguring teams and creating a financial model to incubate an unprecedented platform in government-to-government communication.

The GCIS in its own right, this can-do approach set the tone for the very ethic and energy the new platform wished to promote editorially across a Public Service of 1,3 million people.

This approach is vitally important at this point in our country’s development where, as a developmental state, our performance as the administration is the key to effective partnership with other sectors.

Mr Manyi; Sir

President Jacob Zuma challenged all public servants, with this recent State of the Nation Address, to rise to the task of writing a new story about South Africa as we embark on an extensive programme of developing public infrastructure.

The creative impulse inherent in all humans has found expression through writing, with this initiative there is no doubt that it will continue to ignite the writing desire to share our daily experiences as public sector managers.

Since April 2011, the writing of this new story has been unfolding in the publication we are celebrating here this evening Public Sector Manager Magazine.

Esteemed Guests:

Public Sector Manageror PSM ­– as it is popularly known, is a title that can truly hold its own in the South African publishing market and which is an insightful read for those in the Public Service as well as people in other sectors with an interest in the administration.

Public Sector Manager unpacks issues that are rarely unpacked elsewhere as it delves into the heart and detail of the operations of government.

Most importantly, it is people-focused, bringing senior leadership and new arrivals in the Public Sector closer to home through in-depth interviews and profiles that show all of us how much – and how many – we should be proud of in the public sector.

PSMallows veterans to share the wisdom of their vast experience and showcases the magnificent impact made by their younger successors and colleagues.

PSMrealizes that, contrary to mistaken perceptions, many of our senior officials hardly have a life as they burn the midnight and weekend oil and devote their lives to public service.

With this in mind, the editorial team has ensured that we balance the fine print of government policy with the levity of lifestyle and leisure features that give readers options to manage stress and maintain a healthy balance between work and life in general.

A further innovation – and a complementary communication platform in its own right – has been the creation of the PSM Forum, a monthly event that facilitates face-to-face interaction between managers and key personalities featured in the magazine.

The Forumpermits frank, critical discussion and allows political principals or senior executives to share their outlook and vision, on the one hand, while taking the temperature, as it were, of the Public Service by interacting with managers.

The Forum has extended the reach of the magazine beyond the current print run of 10 000 and has entrenched the most important form of communication – the interpersonal, two-way or multi-way, mode.

PSM’s first year has set the bar high and laid the basis for taking the magazine to the retail market, as will be the case from the current edition.

It has given all of us something to look forward to each month; something to learn from each month, and – through the Forum – something to be a part of each month.

Programme Director:

There is a shared belief that the world has become more integrated and that the flow of and access to information throughout the world has become an important asset.

As such, governments have embraced the fact that communication amongst one another is critical; in helping to communicate not just ideas, but ways to articulate plans and strategies to implement programmes in advancing government mandate.
My congratulations and continued support are due to the CEO, Jimmy Manyi, the Deputy CEO Vusi Mona, the editorial and creative team on the magazine.

We look forward to many more inspiring and thought-provoking reads and – in partnership with Uhuru Communications – we look forward to a growing footprint and a successful revenue stream.

There is no doubt that this is a giant leap for public sector managers to tell the story to the broader community of their day to day experiences in advocating service delivery.

I would like to leave you with the words of one of the largest media moguls in the United States of America (USA), William Bernbach, who is quoted as having said the following

All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarise that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.”

It is an honour, therefore, to take this moment to declare Public Sector Managerofficially launched.

Lets us all offer our congratulatory, Asithi Halala! Akwande! Public Sector Manager.

I Thank you.

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