SA has no 'capacity' for digital voting - experts

Digital voting has its advantages as more people would be able to vote, however, South Africa remains limited by infrastructure, say experts.

FILE: Two ballot boxes sit in the Pinelands Primary voting station as South Africans cast their votes on 8 May 2019. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Cybersecurity experts say substantial changes would need to be made before a shift to electronic voting in South Africa.

Digital voting has its advantages as more people would be able to vote, however, South Africa remains limited by infrastructure.

Another limitation is the threat of hackers who could try to override the system and manipulate the results, said J2 Software's John McLoughlin.

“There’s not enough broadband capacity and then, of course, the other side is actual user capacity. Everyone knows how to operate a cellphone, however, it depends on how simplistic we make the electronic voting because if it’s too complex, we still have many people who are technologically not quite as advanced as they may need to be.”

Avumatech's Given Shingange said due to the convenience, more eligible voters could cast their ballots.

But he added it would be hard to quantify the cost of such technology as it would include cyber security, changing the education system and other factors.