Media Monitoring Africa

Media Monitoring Africa Elections Initiatives


MMA Monitoring Media Coverage – whose voices do we hear?

During an election period, the media plays a critical role in disseminating information to the electorate in order to facilitate informed decision-making when citizens exercise their vote at the election polls. As such, it is important then that the media demonstrates not only fairness and impartiality, but also highlight issues that affect South African citizens’ lives and futures, including but not limited to poverty, unemployment and inequality as well as gender-based violence to name a few.

Furthermore, covering what citizens need to know encourages informed choices and effective voting through reporting on parties and candidates, informing the public where they stand on key political issues. MMA has monitored the coverage of every democratic election in South Africa since 1994. MMA has also monitored the elections coverage of other countries, such as Lesotho and Zambia. You can find our reports and analyses of various elections coverage below.


As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of digital media and gear up for the 2024 South African General Elections, it is crucial to recognise the dangers that disinformation poses to the very core of our democratic process. Disinformation can polarise communities, mislead voters, and erode trust in our electoral institutions. The explosion of AI means that it is easier to create and spread disinformation.

Real411 was created with a singular purpose: to empower every citizen with the means to combat digital disinformation, and our commitment remains as steadfast as ever as we prepare for the pivotal 2024 South African General Elections. When you report an instance of digital disinformation to Real411, you are not just raising awareness; you are also initiating action and safeguarding the integrity of the upcoming 2024 elections.

PADRE – Political Party Advert Repository

The Political Advert Repository (PAdRe or Padre) is an IEC initiative, supported by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA). This initiative is in line with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Guidelines On Access To Information And Elections In Africa.

We know that bad actors will seek to misinform and undermine the elections. When you see a political advert on social media, it’s often difficult to know for sure if it’s a legitimate advert.

You can use the platform to search through the adverts to see the messages and campaigns of the political parties. In addition you can now also see which parties are advertising on social media and how much they are spending.

MARS – Countering threats that aim to silence journalists

MARS is a platform created and driven by MMA. This civic technology initiative was developed in response to the increase in online attacks against journalists and to combat the limited action taken by both government and technology platforms. By providing journalists, and those who support them, with an independent tool for reporting attacks, MARS is contributing to building a public record and archive of attacks. An archive that can be used as evidence for action.

Journalists who are being attacked can access this common, anonymised, archive of attacks and they can also store their own attacks that can be stored in their personal archive. The goal is to reveal and highlight the scale of attacks and to show that not only are journalists not alone, but to show the world a visual reminder of the high cost of journalism. We want to use this archived material to advocate for meaningful action and to expose common themes, repeat offenders and co-ordinated attacks.