The Influence of Social Media on the Transparency and Accountability of the South African Public Sector

Tyanai Masiya, Stellah Lubinga


There is a growing debate on the potential role of social media in improving government transparency and accountability and, ultimately, policy-making. This article analyses the contribution of social media, specifically Twitter, in increasing government transparency and accountability in South Africa by transferring information between the government and the public. To achieve this aim, we conducted an in-depth analysis of Twitter content, focusing on a curated selection of randomly selected top hashtags that became prominent in the South African context. These hashtags represent notable trends such as #FeesMustFall, #ZumaMustFall, #NotInMyName, #AmINext, and the #ThaboBester saga. By examining the discourses surrounding these hashtags, we aimed to uncover insights into how social media interactions intersected with government actions and reactions. Our results indicate that these hashtags served as potent catalysts for public engagement, driving discussions that critiqued government decisions and compelled timely reactions from the government.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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