7 Sep 2016
GCIS congratulates the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) for integrating GovChat into its councillor induction programme. GovChat, our first social media platform enables real time conversations between elected councillors and citizens in communities, bringing government closer to South Africans.
Through daily usage of this platform, local government service will improve for the better as councillors will be at the front line of providing instant and credible information to the people they serve. It aims to break barriers of communication and supports civic engagement.
Active social media users are growing at a rate of over 10% year on year in South Africa. It is estimated that South Africans spend just under 3 hours on the internet and social media using their mobile phones. This is an opportunity that cannot be ignored.
“For the the first time, South African Citizens can talk to their elected ward councillors instantly through our social media platform. GovChat, allows citizens to engage councillors on issues including housing, access to water and electricity, safety and job creation initiatives in their areas.” said Acting Director General, Donald Liphoko.
GovChat allows citizens to send images, photos, videos, public and private messages in real time directly to their ward councillors.
“We are pleased that SALGA has integrated GovChat as a valuable communications tool that will connect citizens to their local ward councillors. It will go a long way in bridging the divide between the electorate and public representatives’, said Acting Director General, Donald Liphoko.
South Africa is becoming an increasingly connected nation. Over 26 million South Africans are active internet users, 13 million of whom are active social media users. It is estimated that over 85 million mobile connections exist in the country.
This initiative is rolled out during the 2016 national Public Service Month which takes place across the country from 1 to 30 September under the theme: Moving the Public Service Forward: “We Belong, We Care, We Serve”. It is used to highlight government services, dedication, commitment and excellence in the delivery of services to the public. The Public Service Charter is popularised throughout the month to ensure that public servants deliver appropriate services and fight corruption.
Government believes that active citizenry and social activism is necessary for democracy and development to flourish. The National Development Plan (NDP) states that government “cannot merely act on behalf of the people.
GCIS will be supporting the integration of GovChat into other government service programmes in support of Government’s Back to Basics approach that ensures communities receive quality services. Ward councillors, irrespective of political affiliation are encouraged to register.
GovChat is currently available as a web application and citizens can register as users at www.govchat.org.za. The platform will be available on Android and iOS devices in the near future.
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Issued by GCIS