Outgoing government spokesman Jimmy Manyi. Photo: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The Black Business Council (BBC) congratulated former government communications head Jimmy Manyi on Friday for “running his race to the end” by finishing his contract in the public service.

“He has served his country with distinction and we would like to acknowledge his contribution as a South African and as a black business leader,” BBC president Ndaba Ntsele said in a statement.

“His enthusiasm and commitment to what he believed in cannot be faulted, and for this we thank him,” he said.

The presidency said on Monday it was not renewing Manyi's three-year contract as Government Communication and Information System CEO and Cabinet spokesman. The contract ended on Saturday.

Manyi joined GCIS in February 2011 from the department of labour, to which he had been transferred to complete the rest of his contract as director general in the public service department.

Ntsele said the BBC took pride in Manyi and other professionals who plied their trade in the private sector, and then distinguish themselves by responding to a call to serve in the public service.

It expressed its full support and confidence in him, and wished him well as he started another chapter in his career.

Ntsele said the BBC welcomed Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane's praise for Manyi's contribution and sterling work.

Announcing on Monday that Manyi's contract was not being renewed, Chabane said he had been “very instrumental” in communicating government programmes, particularly the five priorities of government, to the country's people.

“He has made a good contribution to government communication and Cabinet communication processes,” he said, thanking him on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, Cabinet and the government.

On Friday, the ANC said Manyi had shown diligence, commitment and professionalism.

“While we know that his task was not the easiest, he did his best to keep our public informed about government decisions and programmes,” said spokesman Jackson Mthembu.

Wishing him well in his new endeavours, Mthembu said he would remain an extension of the ANC's effort to serve the country's people with distinction and commitment.

Not everyone has had praise for Manyi.

Earlier in the week, Solidarity welcomed his departure and said his ideas had not only infiltrated the government, but had become its policy.

The National Press Club also welcomed Manyi's departure and said his tenure as GCIS CEO had been marred by controversy and often irresponsible comments.

The Democratic Alliance said he should have been relieved of his duties long ago.

“He has consistently showcased behaviour unbecoming of government's chief communicator,” said DA spokesman Mmusi Maimane.

Phumla Williams had been appointed as acting GCIS CEO until the position has been filled. Williams was the deputy CEO of corporate services. - Sapa