|dc.description.abstract||The world has become increasingly “hyperconnected.” Hyperconnectivity refers not only to the
means of communication and interaction, but it also brings people (and things) together from
anywhere and at any time. In today’s world, citizens are increasingly sharing information via the
so-called Over-the Top services (OTT) and virtual reality tools, rather than from the front porch.
This hyperconnectivity has given rise to a globalised “168” world (24 × 7 = 168), where the work
day continues around the clock.
A plausible reason for the popularity of OTTs is that people no longer want to be passive
‘spectators’; instead, they want to be interactive, co-create content, discuss, modify usergenerated
content and connect with organisations. The above illustrates that media culture
provides the materials to create identities into which individuals insert themselves in
contemporary techno-capitalist societies, and which is producing a new form of global culture.
But media culture is also a high “techno-culture”, deploying the most advanced technologies that
are of value to business or professional life.
This study examines how black employees in Parliament interact and make sense of the text
(WhatsApp) as an OTT service. An OTT is any application or service that provides a product
over the Internet and bypasses traditional distribution. Services that come over the top are most
typically related to media and communication and are generally, if not always, lower in cost than
the traditional method of delivery.
The research analyses how and why employees use and integrate WhatsApp into their everyday
lives, asks what WhatsApp means to these employees, and questions whether the use of
WhatsApp is prohibited by policies of the institution or whether its usage has been ‘naturalised’.
The study also looks at the key provisions of Constitution of Republic of South Africa, relevant
laws and policies governing the ICT ecosystem; how the sector has evolved and is regulated and
managed as well as significant policy and regulatory debates which have emerged since the
introduction of OTT services.||en_US