Online tools for South Africa’s general elections

Navigating South Africa’s political party manifestos can be exhausting, however, several online tools promise to simplify the process.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) released its final list of 52 national candidates on 11 April.

Sifting through every party’s policies can be frustrating and tedious, as some manifestos are over 250 pages long.

Fortunately, several online tools are hoping to make voters’ decisions more comprehensive and easier.

The goals of these tools vary, from spreading verified information relating to the election to trying to get apathetic voters involved and interested in the polls.

MyBroadband has compiled a list of these online tools below.

The Brenthurst Foundation’s Vote Quiz

The Brenthurst Foundation’s Vote Quiz tool narrows down candidates by asking government policy-related questions.

Eight questions focus on the economy, infrastructure, investment, crime, corruption, governance, social policy, and representation.

The quiz results, which narrow down your options to a shortlist of three, are based on “exhaustive research into manifestos”, with the tool promising that it has covered them all.

Brenthurst Foundation research director Roy Harvey said the organization’s ultimate goal is to help you choose a party “that will best represent your concerns and interests.”

MyCandidate South Africa

The creators of MyCandidate believe that “a lack of information disempowers African voters, resulting in poor turnout at elections and little active involvement in the political cycle.”

The development of the MyCandidate tool, created by Open Cities Lab, has been driven by a lack of information about candidates.

The tool provides all the necessary information concerning election candidates in one place, such as the names, ages, and eligibility of all the candidates within their party.

The site also lets users stay updated about election-specific information, such as how the new three-ballot system will work.

MyCandidate was first created for the local government elections in 2021 and has since been used in Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Kenya.

Yoh, Vote

Yoh, Vote‘s “Match-Maker” tool matches users to a political party’s manifesto based on how they answer policy-related questions.

These questions allow the tool to gauge where a user stands relative to the eight manifestos the app considers.

An example of such a question is: Which of the following best represents your view?

  1. National government should have clear power over local & provincial governments.
  2. More power should be given to the local & provincial government.

The site also offers easy access to the eight manifestos and creatively summarised profiles for each party.

Although not as extensive as the Brenhurst Foundation’s Vote Quiz tool, students created the tool to encourage youth involvement and start the conversation surrounding this year’s National elections.

Manifesto summaries

Daily Maverick and News24 have provided extensive manifesto breakdowns and summaries for users to access before the upcoming elections.

News24’s Manifesto Meter allows users to compare manifestos using key metrics such as load-shedding, health, jobs and the economy.

It also provides a detailed analysis of the ANC, the DA, Rise Mzansi, and the EFF manifestos.

Similarly, the Daily Maverick has also created detailed and easily digestible summaries of the top 12 parties.

These summaries include a short analysis of each manifesto and can be sent to users via WhatsApp.

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Online tools for South Africa’s general elections