This week Media24 and the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) launched a “groundbreaking” partnership focusing on training and development.
“When I was a journalist… [I learnt] you never ever use the word ‘historic’. But I want to say that ‘historic’ is the sort of word that comes to mind. It is groundbreaking, innovative and certainly a milestone,” Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman said at the launch in Johannesburg on Thursday night.
“It represents the true spirit of how Media24 is working to build partnerships with government.”
The partnership involved two legs – digital media training for 25 GCIS employees, and an APEX management programme, to train black employees of both partners.
Ten people from the GCIS would be joining 40 Media24 employees for the programme.
“Why are we doing that? Firstly, to promote diversity and transformation in Media24. Secondly, to execute on government’s preferred wish… for public/private sector partnerships,” Weideman said.
Fibre of South African society
“We want to build relationships between South Africa’s leading media company, which is Media24, and government communicators, because you have an exceptionally important job.
“I hope this Media24/GCIS partnership will create an environment for the provision of communication services to all South Africans and to promote socio-economic development and access to information, necessary for people to participate meaningfully in our democracy.”
Acting GCIS director general Donald Liphoko praised Media24, saying it was rooted in South Africa, which was its “home”.
“You are part of the fibre of South African society.”
“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Media24 executives. You are not just investing in these people for the benefit of the GCIS, but the country as a whole,” he said.
He said he would have loved to have been a “fly on the wall” when the Media24 board decided to partner with the GCIS.
Weideman responded later that the board thought it was an “excellent idea”.
The two then signed a memorandum of understanding to seal the deal.