Political Communication and the Enforcement of COVID - 19 Rules in South Africa

Main Article Content

Ndivhoniswani Aaron Tshidzumba
Lusanda Juta

Abstract

Abstract


Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries have attempted to respond via the introduction and adoption of strict and punitive measures to those breaking the covid-19 protocols. Relying on secondary and primary sources of data collection, this paper interrogates the various communication media that were used in sensitizing the citizenry in South Africa and their impact on enforcement as well as compliance to COVID-19 protocols. Regardless of the political dynamics and political distrust that characterize the state-citizen relations within the country, this study observes that to a reasonable extent, a uniform pattern of disseminating information both among government and private owned news sources created more awareness about the increasing spread of covid-19 and this was due to the perceived threat the pandemic posed to entire nation. Apart from the fact that this apparent uniformity in sensitization supported the enforcement of basic covid-19 protocolls, it has sustained the level of awareness and compliance amidst the second wave. Therefore, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, this study concludes that there is greater need for synergy between state and private owned media platforms in the overall interest of the country.


Abstract


Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries have attempted to respond via the introduction and adoption of strict and punitive measures to those breaking the covid-19 protocols. Relying on secondary and primary sources of data collection, this paper interrogates the various communication media that were used in sensitizing the citizenry in South Africa and their impact on enforcement as well as compliance to COVID-19 protocols. Regardless of the political dynamics and political distrust that characterize the state-citizen relations within the country, this study observes that to a reasonable extent, a uniform pattern of disseminating information both among government and private owned news sources created more awareness about the increasing spread of covid-19 and this was due to the perceived threat the pandemic posed to entire nation. Apart from the fact that this apparent uniformity in sensitization supported the enforcement of basic covid-19 protocolls, it has sustained the level of awareness and compliance amidst the second wave. Therefore, beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, this study concludes that there is greater need for synergy between state and private owned media platforms in the overall interest of the country.


Key words: Political Communication, Enforcement, Rules & Protocols, COVID-19

Article Details

How to Cite
Tshidzumba, N., & Juta, L. (2021). Political Communication and the Enforcement of COVID - 19 Rules in South Africa. African Journal of Governance & Development, 10(1.1), 244-258. Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/jgd/article/view/2357
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Articles
Author Biographies

Ndivhoniswani Aaron Tshidzumba, North West University

Aaron is the Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities responsible for Community Engagement, Business Development and Stakeholder Relations. He is currently coordinating BRICS@NWU – a group of researchers from various faculties within the university who are in collaboration with universities from BRICS member states. As a Senior Lecturer he also teaches Broadcasting, Journalism, Corporate Communication, Development Communications. He supervises post-graduate (Honours, Masters and PhDs) students’ research projects (dissertations and thesis). He taught Broadcasting, and Journalism at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria. He worked as a High school teacher in South Africa and Britain, a broadcaster in South Africa as well as a Chief Executive Officer in the South African government entity within the Department of Communication and Digital Technologies. Aaron further served as board member of Dirapeng (Pty) Ltd, North West Parks & Tourism Board, South African Broadcasting Corporation and as a member of the Task Team on establishment of Mpumalanga University to the Premier’s Office Mpumalanga. As a broadcaster he co-founded the NWUFM-a campus radio station, Riverside FM-a campus radio station and Nkungumathe FM, a community radio station in Kwa-Zulu Natal province. He has produced various television and corporate productions. His research interests includes regional broadcasting, communication (telecoms, energy and ICTs) policies and regulations, as well as apps development, community journalism (including the ‘internet of things’), broadband and computer/digital literacy and media transmission and satellite. Aaron is an administrator of a community skills project called NWU e-Agro-Tourism CoLab in the North West University, which promotes the use of ICTs in agriculture and tourism within the North West Province of South Africa.

Lusanda Juta, North West University

Dr Lusanda Juta is within the School of Public Management in the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences,

and a

- Senior Lecturer

- Deputy Director - School of Public Management