Cllr Rapson Rambuwani of Vhembe District Municipality stresses a point while the Communications Manager of Vhembe District Municipality, Mr Matodzi Ralushai listens attentively.

“The second wave of Covid 19 is upon us. All we have to do is to enforce and fully implement the government’s Covid 19 communication strategy so that we can curb the spread of this pandemic that has turned our lives upside down. We will work closely with the law enforcement agencies but every individual should a play role to save lives.” These were the words of Cllr Rapson Rambuwani of Vhembe District Municipality. He was addressing government communicators, members of the media and representatives of community stakeholders during the joint Musina Musina Municipality and Vhembe District Municipality Communicators Forum meeting that was held at Musina Showground. The meeting was held just before the prohibition of gatherings as a result of the second wave of Covid 19.

Rambuwani said government communicators should work hard to inform the community about what government is doing. “At times, community members would complain that government is not doing anything to improve their lives. However, government has done much but little of these achievements are communicated. Communicators should not only talk about the good things that government is doing, they must also outline the challenges faced by the government and the intervention that government is doing to redress those challenges. However, we are pleased because government communication is quickly reclaiming its rightful space in the media industry.”

Musina Municipality Communications Manager, Mr Wilson Dzebu updated guests on the state of communications in his municipality. “Despite the shortage of staff and resources, we are doing our best to make sure that we are always in touch with our masses on the ground. Our bulk sms line, which has more than 5 000 subscribers, is one of our innovative communication channels that is very effective. We pride ourselves by our website which is updated timeously and our effective Facebook page which has more than 20 000 followers. The various community WhatsApp groups that we participate in make us to be well informed about what is happening in our communities. Despite the scourge of Covid 19, we are maximizing the use of social media because of the restrictions of large gatherings as a way to curb the spread of the coronavirus.” Said Dzebu.

During the meeting, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Provincial Director, Mr Thanyani Ravhura made a presentation on government’s Covid 19 Festive season Communication Plan while Mr Zamba Maluleke from Home Affairs highlighted on the Beitbridge Border post Covid 19 processes. Mr Mavhungu Makatu from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) talked about network related challenges and interventions around the Vhembe District.