Technology played a big role in the recent local elections, says Minister of Communications Roy Padayachie, presenting his department’s budget speech in Parliament yesterday.
“The overwhelming participation in the local government elections was made possible by the unprecedented use of electronic communications services,” he said. “This includes the role played by the SABC, e-TV, our Community Radio Stations, as well as Sentech and ICASA, in taking the elections to the people through technology.
“In 2010 the Human Sciences Research Council published a study, which indicated high levels of public confidence in the SABC and satisfaction in the SABC as a disseminator of information.
“In the build up to the elections, millions of voters checked their registration details using mobile phones and millions of messages were distributed over our electronic communications networks. Many compatriots, including political parties, accessed social media such as Facebook and Twitter via mobile phones, laptops, smart phones, intelligent pads and other technology innovations expressing their views about the elections.
“The use of these technologies demonstrated our growth and development in the realm of e-democracy and e-participation.”
Padayachie point out that even President Jacob Zuma embraced the social media phenomenon with a new Twitter account.