High data costs frustrate SA’s election campaigns 

By Zukile Majova
Political Editor

Cheaper internet connections and efforts to unleash the potential of the information, communication and technology sector should feature prominently in election promises in 2024.

But they don’t. 

Political parties, young and old, are using similar election campaign strategies to those from 30 years ago.

This is largely because the cost of prepaid data and wi-fi in South Africa is beyond the reach of most people. 

More than 50% of adults in Mzansi have smartphones. Given this, you’d expect electronic election manifestos to be the order of the day. 

But no. 

Across the board, political parties contesting the 2024 elections are relying on door-to-door campaigning to reach voters.

In the age of artificial intelligence, social media and modern communication, you’d expect new parties to rely heavily on new technologies.

Social media is mainly where the middle-class conversation is happening but parties like the EFF will tell you that social media hits don’t translate into votes.

To get the votes, they say, you need to work hard, get on the ground and visit different communities.

Blessed with the charm of Nelson Mandela and various liberation heroes, the ANC has used home visits to great effect over the years. 

With Mandela gone, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to unleash the now increasingly popular former president Thabo Mbeki to lead the ANC’s door-to-door campaign.

And DA leader John Steenhuisen says home visits are a major part of the party’s campaign.

My 86-year-old grandmother would get a fright if the DA’s leadership, which is largely white and male, entered the family home in KwaBhaca.

New kids on the political block, Rise Mzansi, have deployed thousands of young volunteers, including their leader Songezo Zibi, to communities around the country.

The party is the only one that is fighting for the interests of hard-working single mothers.

Pictured above: Rise Mzansi leader Songezo Zibi targets over one million voters, with thousands of party volunteers embarking on home visits.

Source: X

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