Pretoria – The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) produced newspaper, Vuk’uzenzele, will today unveil its fresh new look.
The new look, which coincides with the 100th edition of the newspaper, is a celebration of the journey travelled since 2005 and the past 99 editions.
“Readers can now enjoy a much cleaner design, short and to-the-point stories, bolder headlines and more exciting pictures as of the 100th edition. We continue to carry a message from President Jacob Zuma, as well as stories of ordinary people who are making a difference in their communities,” GCIS Acting Director-General Donald Liphoko said on Tuesday.
The first edition hit the streets in October 2005 in a magazine format. Since then, Vuk’uzenzele has changed its format and appearance and continues to make huge strides in communicating government’s programmes and policies to many South Africans.
The newspaper was established with the sole purpose of making government information available in a simplified manner to the people of South Africa, particularly those who don’t have access to empowering developmental news.
The publication was introduced at a time when there was scepticism about the role of a government produced newspaper. The public discourse at that time purported that the publication will be viewed as a propaganda instrument. However, the paper has been warmly welcomed by communities and is sought after particularly in areas where mainstream newspapers are not distributed.
Liphoko said Vuk’uzenzele aims to provide news and information to all South Africans and as such, a lot of effort goes into ensuring that it is distributed to those in peri-urban and rural areas, in particular, where access to trustworthy information is scarce.
The newspaper carries stories guided by the five priorities of government – namely health, education, employment, rural development and safety and security.
“True to its name, Vuk’uzenzele reports stories of people in communities who have taken advantage of government provided services to improve their lives,” said Liphoko.
In 2011, Vuk’zenzele changed from being a bimonthly magazine to a monthly newspaper.
In the same year, the newspaper also carried a special four-page Employment News supplement focusing on job creation and skills development related articles with government recruitment advertisements in the public sector.
“Five years later, we continue to evolve. Vuk’uzenzele now consistently carries government jobs. The newspaper has also changed its cycle from once a month to every fortnight to give readers current and fresh news,” Liphoko said.
Vuk’uzenzele has also embraced the digital age and it is available for mobile download from App Store and on Google Play. Is also available on www.vukuzenzele.gov.za .
Vuk’uzenzele is partially translated in all official languages to ensure that the reader receives government news in the language of their choice.
To date, the newspaper has produced more than 162 million copies.
The newspaper also boasts the largest print run within the newspaper industry. It is also available in Braille to cater for the visually impaired, with more than 51 000 Braille copies having been produced so far.
“We will continue to strive to bring readers government news more frequently,” said Liphoko.