South Africa is gearing for its general election this year, the country is already witnessing a surge in political activity. SA’s ruling party ANC (African National Congress) is fishing for voters from every thinkable spot. The party’s latest move has been the launch of a mobile app targetting 17 to 25 year olds. Originally deployed last year in the Western Cape province, the Mxit app has attracted 400,000 subscribers and 8,000 volunteers.
ANC’s 2014 manifesto has promised to improve South Africa’s ICT infrastructure and develop free-WiFi areas in the country’s towns and cities. The party’s bet on using a mobile app for its political campaign places further trust on the benefits of technology. It might just be possible for the ANC to achieve some of its lofty promises to the South African ICT sector.
“The app, which can be downloaded for free across more than 8,000 mobile devices, provides young South Africans with the opportunity to engage actively with the ANC, gain access to information on service delivery, learn about ANC events, voting and registering for the 2014 elections, and details of their local ward councillors,” – the ANC in a canned statement.
“Politics is an important conversation in South Africa — especially when it comes to the youth, who might be less engaged in the conversation happening in newspapers and other media platformsm.” – Mxit chief executive officer Francois Swart.