IEC deputy CEO Nomsa Masuku. Picture: Getrude Makhafola/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Independent Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) is ready to roll out electronic voting, but South Africa's political parties are against it and prefer the paper ballot.

Speaking at a panel discussion on elections in the age of misinformation and fake news, IEC deputy CEO Nomsa Masuku said there was no political will in the country to embrace the digital era when it comes to voting.

''We are already considering electronic voting, the issue is at what point are we going to deploy it. There is no political at the moment to go the electronic voting way,'' she said.

''If there is one thing political parties agree on, is that they do not want us to move from paper ballot to electronic voting...until you have an agreement and some level of political will to introduce electronic voting, its deployment will take much longer.''

The panel discussed next year's elections in the age of online misinformation and trolling, especially the misuse of social media. The event was organised by Media Monitoring Africa.

Masuku said voting electronically would do away with having to safeguard ballot paper boxes and ensure quick turnaround on election results.

''In Brazil, government enacted electronic voting a long time ago. In this year's elections, political parties in Brazil wanted proof ... a paper trail. So it was electronic voting, but a voter also got a receipt after voting. I think we have to move to electronic because it makes better sense, and another thing is we would not have to wait three days for the results...we can have results on the same day [of voting].''

South Africa will hold its general elections next year before May.

African News Agency/ANA