Head of the Enterprise Development Unit at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Colin Thakur has been invited by the organiser of the iqnite Conference for Software Quality to present his document on Digital Democracy in the upcoming event in Johannesburg on 18 November.
Since 1996, this conference has been instrumental in the exchange of ideas within software quality fundis and has contributed to the development of this sector. The nine member states have an average of 2000 participants annually, hosting lectures, experience reports and exhibitors.
Thakur’s document is based on two years of research on electronic voting, looking at how this system can be used to empower the nation. E-voting is a popular system internationally perceived to be faster and more efficient, thus the Independent Electoral Commission assigned him to conduct an international survey assessing the pros and cons of this system.
This system is slowly spreading across the African continent in countries like Nigeria and Kenya. According to Thakur, the IEC is keenly monitoring the e-voting international experience to gather intelligence as the market matures so the topic is still very interesting, hence its inclusion in the conference.
“I am particularly interested in the use of e-voting to enable and entrench democracy in Africa. E-voting makes democracy faster, and makes participative decision making easier (referendums) and it allows politicians the opportunity to defer or even abdicate a contentious decision to the electorate for example buy food or guns, capital punishment et cetera,” said Thakur.
Apart from the speed difference between the physical and electronic systems Thakur believes e-voting would be a more accommodating system for expats. He stressed though the essence of ensuring that the system is usable by the young and old, the rural and urban, the physically challenged and able as well as literate and illiterate voters.
Thakur is presently planning to compile a book based on his research.
For more information, please contact
Surendra Thakur (Colin)
Head: Enterprise Development Unit
Tel: +27 (31) 373-2671/6991 Fax-2-Email: +27 (86) 681-6021
Direct: +27 (31) 373-2671 Fax +27 (31) 373-2900
Mobile: +27 83-787-6991 Web: www.dut.ac.za
Skype: colin.thakur Time: GMT +2 hours