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SALGA Hosts 7th National Communicators Forum to Strengthen Communication between Local Government and Communities



Posted: 11 December 2023

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) is set to host the 7th National Communicators Forum (NCF), taking place on 11 – 12 December 2023 at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Thembi Nkadimeng, will be among the distinguished speakers at this two-day forum.

The NCF serves as a gathering for municipal communicators from all 257 municipalities in South Africa, provides a safe space for peer learning, facilitates intergovernmental relations (IGR), and to discuss the advancement of local government communication. The aim is to address challenges faced by municipal communicators as a sphere of government and seek solutions.

The primary focus of the NCF agenda this week in Durban is to devise strategies that bridge the communication gap between municipalities and communities. The local government communicators have set themselves a goal to cultivate public trust and position Government Communicators as agents for nation-building, to address the perceived trust deficit within the public sentiments.

Over the next two days, the forum will feature insightful discussions, including carefully planned panel sessions led by communication and marketing experts, as well as industry leaders in data management, media management, digital communication, and representatives from organizations such as the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA).

Central to these discussions is the effort to reach a consensus on positioning the communication function as a tool to enhance service delivery. This includes considerations for funding resources and determining its optimal location within the municipality.

Municipalities currently face challenges in collecting payments for services, leading to difficulties in paying suppliers and fulfilling their mandate. The forum will grapple with questions on how marketing communication practitioners can navigate these issues, taking into account factors such as poverty, unemployment, a culture of non-payment, dissatisfaction with service delivery, the rise in the cost of municipal services, communication gaps, and problems associated with municipal decision-making.

Furthermore, the NCF will evaluate the progress made in entrenching communication since its inauguration.

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