Communications training for Musina councillors

From left to right: The Speaker of Musina Municipality, Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu, Thanyani Ravhura and Eunice Nkuna (both from the GCIS) listen attentively to speakers during the training sessionFrom left to right: The Speaker of Musina Municipality, Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu, Thanyani Ravhura and Eunice Nkuna (both from the GCIS) listen attentively to speakers during the training session

In a fruitful effort to improve communications within the Musina municipal area, Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) and Musina Municipality organized a communications training session for councillors at Musina Municipality Council Chambers.

The aim of the training was to equip councillors with the necessary communications skills they will use to engage with community members and stakeholders within their wards.

Tiisetso Ramotse from the GCIS said it is important to empower councillors with communication skills because they serve as entry points to their constituencies. He also outlined how the government communication system operates and how councillors can communicate effectively while at the same time adhering to the communication policy of the municipality and protecting the reputation of their institution. “The communication policy must be able to state clearly the role of the spokesperson and that of the politicians. It should be able to guide the municipality on who communicates what messages and at which times. Communication is one of the most enjoyable discipline if implemented correctly.”

GCIS Director in Limpopo, Mr Thanyani Ravhura spoke on crises communication and rapid response. He said the municipality should ensure, via appropriate policies and training that only authorized spokespersons speak during the time of crises. “The crisis communications team should have people who have been trained to backup spokespersons in different channels of communications. The main aim here is to protect the image of the institution while at the same time telling the truth. The municipality should have the means to reach internal and external stakeholders using multiple modalities during the time of crises. This can easily be achieved by setting up social media accounts and developing a number of contacts where you will spread information faster.”

The Speaker of Musina Municipality, Cllr Gilbert Netshisaulu is one of the delegates who attended the training. He said: “Although we are responsible community leaders, we don’t know all the basics because communication is a specialized field. I hope we keep on having these types of engagements because they help us to be better leaders and communicators. Indeed, the training was a learning curve.” 

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