Original Research

The potential of mobile phones for increasing public participation in local government in South Africa

Hannah Thinyane, Ingrid Siebörger, Edward Reynell
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 3 | a65 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i3.65 | © 2015 Hannah Thinyane, Ingrid Siebörger, Edward Reynell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2016 | Published: 31 December 2015

About the author(s)

Hannah Thinyane, Hamilton Building, Rhodes University, Prince Alfred St, Grahamstown, South Africa
Ingrid Siebörger,
Edward Reynell,

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Abstract

This paper presents a critical discussion on the current use of technology and participation in local government. It discusses the rise in popularity of mobile devices, and how they have been used in ICT for development. The paper describes the results of a baseline study undertaken in a city within Makana Municipality in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, to empirically investigate how residents are currently using mobile phones and participating with local government around the area of service delivery. The findings illustrate the current state of mobile phone usage and capabilities, and the potential for using the mobile platform to increase participation in local government in South Africa. The paper also can be used to inform and guide project stakeholders on how best to implement m-participation strategies.

Keywords

Mobile phones; public participation; ICT4D

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