In this 2014 election year we have seen the Big Blue and he Mighty Yellow come out swinging for the votes of online citizens.
Admittedly we represent a minuscule number of votes and, frankly, whatever we say online never really makes it into the trenches of political warfare – those areas where people struggle to put daily food on the table!
As a consequence we are a pretty easy lot to please as far as politicians go – tell us that our broadband connections will become faster and cheaper and we will sing the praises of whoever lies to us.
Big Blue says:
Affordable, reliable and efficient internet must be available to all South Africans. “Every person in South Africa should have access to the internet,” the DA said.
“Information and communication technology (ICT) is therefore vital to the development and wellbeing of all who live, work and play in South Africa,” the DA’s manifesto states.
“It enables us to contribute to, share in and benefit from the opportunities of a networked world. It connects people to education, jobs, opportunities and each other.”
“It sparks innovation, enables citizens and government to interact effectively, and facilitates the provision of basic services such as education, health and policing. It supports the creative and cultural activities that define us.”
Mighty Yellow says:
We will invest in a comprehensive plan to expand broadband access throughout the country and substantially reduce the cost of communication.
We aim to connect all schools, public health and other government facilities through broadband by 2020, and at least 90% of our communities should have substantial and superfast broadband capacity by 2020.
Government will support and develop free-WiFi areas in cities, towns and rural areas.
The local electronics sector and emerging entrepreneurs will be stimulated as part of our efforts to support the manufacturing industry.
BUT, the BIG question is:
Is a more robust, cheaper and stable internet access a possibility for South Africa? Can the two big political parties even begin to make these promises even though there is actually only one big player in the game (Telkom – which is effectively controlled by Big Yellow who cannot really want their voters to have unfettered access to knowledge) that effectively controls everything?
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