22 July 2014

South Africa: A Few Gentle Pointers for the National Communications Task Team


It's probably going to take at least a year for the reputation of Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to recover. If you are appointed as a minister, and your first act is to anoint Hlaudi Motsoeneng at the SABC, despite the Public Protector's findings, you are clearly a political masochist. That's fine. You're not alone. But it does mean that many of your decisions are going to be clouded by that one act.

So, when you decide to appoint a National Communications Task Team, it is going to be evaluated through the prism that is your Motsoeneng appointment. Especially when he is part of it, even if the prism turns out to be imperfect.

On Monday morning the DA's Shadow Minister of Communications Gavin Davis issued a statement under the thoughtful and non-partisan heading: Muthambi Task Team Stacked with Zuma Acolytes. The subject of the statement was the appointment by Muthambi of a National Communications Task Team. The team is supposed to look at ways for government to communicate more effectively. Or, if you happen, like us, to be of a cynical disposition, to ensure that more people believe its "good story to tell".

The main point of...

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