George Municipal policy for interaction with the media

MARCH 3, 2016

The Executive Mayor of George has noted with concern statements appearing in the media which have allegedly been made by municipal employees who do not have the delegation to make such comments on behalf of the George Municipality.

George Municipality as an employer and the institution of Council has adopted a Communication Policy in terms of which all municipal officials must refer media enquiries to the Communication Unit which acts as the liaison with the media, and not communicate directly to the media. 

In terms of social media, all municipal officials and councillors may only make comments on behalf of the municipality with express approval or authority.  They may not engage in online communication activities that could bring the municipality into disrepute.  They must only publish information online that can be verified and not personal opinions.

During an employee’s employment he/she will have access to confidential information regarding the employer’s staff personnel files, salaries, benefits, health condition, misconduct record, criminal record and other personal/confidential information. 

Employees will also have access to documentation where important decisions and actions are reflected and which is confidential in nature.  All information pertaining to the workplace or any confidential information acquired during the course and scope of employment at George Municipality remains the property of the Municipality and may not be disclosed to a third party during the course of employment, or after the termination of employment.

Enquiries from the media are either for the Municipal manager on administrative issues and the Executive Mayor on political issues, with the enquiry directed to the Communications Unit which then communicates on behalf of the municipality. All information released to the media follows an approval procedure.