Ricochet News

George Municipality will now stream council meetings to the public

Jul 18, 2018
George Municipality will now stream council meetings to the public

George Municipality council meetings will from now be streamed live to the municipality’s conference hall where more members of the public can view proceedings, and a translation booth in council chambers is being installed to allow for real-time translations to councillors.

George Municipality Acting Director Corporate Services, Siphiwo James, said upgrades to council chambers were addressing two of council’s most pressing needs: time efficiency and accommodating the increasing number of citizens wanting to attend council meetings.

“Council meetings are currently slowed down because large parts of proceedings and debates require translation between Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa after each item, which effectively doubles the time of meetings. To address this matter more efficiently, the municipality has built a translation booth in council chambers from which translators will be translating proceedings directly and councillors will have earphones plugged in at their desks to follow council as it proceeds. We believe this booth will not only cut on time, but also ensure quality engagement in council.”

The building of the booth has been completed and the relevant equipment will be installed shortly. The booth is, however, taking up most of the space that was once the relatively small public gallery and only a few extra seats remain, which will be allocated to the media.

“A growing municipal area has meant more councillors to fit into chambers and more citizens wanting to attend council meetings. The public gallery could only accommodate 24 people and many people had to be shown away. Thanks to streaming technology, more than 80 people will now be able to view proceedings live in the municipality’s conference hall downstairs,” said Mr James.

The meeting will be streamed live via the municipality’s intranet onto television screens and a quality sound system into the conference hall, which is situated in the City Hall building and accessed via the City Hall entrance in York Street.

The streaming facility will be live from the next ordinary council meeting, which takes place on Tuesday 25 July 2018 at 10am.

Image: More citizens will now be able to follow council meetings after the recent installation of streaming technology in the municipality’s conference hall. Pictured here are from left: Acting Director Corporate Services Siphiwo James, Corporate Services portfolio councillor Jacqulique Von Brandis, Principal Clerk Auxiliary Services Abraham Lewee and Acting Manager Auxiliary Services Alwyn Josephs.