The New Rage? | Western Cape Government



The New Rage?

29 January 2013

Statement by Nick Clelland, Director of Strategic Communication, Western Cape Government.

The New Age’s front page lead today is as hysterical, inaccurate and obstinate as a rebuked three year old. Fine for a three year old – not so much for a national newspaper. The headline and story are factually inaccurate, misleading and clearly motivated by animus. Consequently, we will be submitting a formal complaint to the Press Ombudsman.
Here are the facts:
  • The extension of the current service - perfectly allowable in terms of the existing contract with TBWA - was made by the Director General, not the Premier. This was made clear to the journalist in our response to him yesterday.
  • The extension has only been entered into to ensure that the new tender process for a communications contract being embarked on strictly adheres to all regulations, policies and prescripts including an exhaustive and comprehensive demand management process. This fastidious attention to detail has, as can be expected, taken longer to complete than originally planned. 
  • The Public Protector found that the tender was validly awarded and the contract is legitimate. The entire exercise was a storm in a teacup stirred up by our political opponents.
  • The services rendered by TBWA are part of the Western Cape Government’s communication strategy that specifically informs residents of the opportunities we provide and the responsibilities they have to make use of them – a unique approach in the South African government context.
  • It was made explicitly clear to the journalist that all of the information was provided from me and to be attributed to me. In the email sent by Zak Mbhele at 5.30 pm yesterday to the journalist he specifically says: “…Please see responses below to your queries and note that they are from Nick Clelland, Director of Strategic Communication…”

Today’s instalment is but the latest in a slew of ad hominem attacks on Premier Zille over the last week. Today’s story read with others on the front page lifts the veil on the New Age and they stand exposed as the political mouthpiece they really are.

Media Enquiries: 
Nick Clelland
Director of Strategic Communication
Cell: 071 631 1211