You may not have heard, because everyone involved is so modest and doesn’t like talking about it, but there’s an election coming up in about a month and a half’s time (7th May) and it’s going to be a toughie. For the first time since 1994, the ANC is under serious pressure on most fronts, and the next parliament could have a very different make-up to any we’ve seen before.

How to choose between the main contendors? There are so many reasons to vote for one or the other. But whether your colours are yellow, blue, red or whatever it is that Agang is wearing today, one thing you’ll want to know before you make your choice is what they promise on the internet and digital policy front.

Some, including the ANC, have included tech as one of its focuses in their manifestos, while others make no mention of tech or anything to do with it at all (which frankly is very worrying in the age we’re currently living in). The ANC’s longest running rival, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the troubled newcomer, Agang SA, have absolutely no plans for tech whatsoever.

Because party manifestos can be long (ANC), short (Agang), heavy on the detail (DA) or written by crazies, they’re not always the easiest read. So we’ve taken the trouble of distilling each of the main parties’ promises down to the salient points.

Let’s take a look at some of the similarities and differences between tech promises in party manifestos. (Click on the image to view and enlarge in another tab).It obvious the main competition is between (surprise, surprise) the ANC and the DA. Both offer more in different areas than any other political party, although a lot of what they’re promising is already in the pipeline via the current government, e.g free Wi-Fi areas and reducing broadband costs.

Ultimately though, the true test lies not in the promises but of the ability of the party concerned to deliver. The actual vote is up to you.

manifestos