With everybody on Facebook tweeting random thoughts and posting pictures on Instagram, it is very easy to forget that only a few of South Africa’s citizens actually have access to the internet. According to the latest figures from Statistics South Africa released today, only one in ten people have access to the internet at home.
Of those who have access at home, the Western Cape had the most with 21.1%, and Gauteng 15.7%. The worst off province in South Africa is North West with 4.5% and Limpopo with only 3% of the population having home internet access.
The overall internet situation in South Africa isn’t much better, as only 40.9% of South African households had at least one member who had access to or used the Internet either at home, work, place of study or internet cafés.
Western Cape (54.4%), Gauteng (54.0%) and Free State (39.7%) scored the highest in this regard, while Limpopo (21.9%) and Eastern Cape (30.2%) fell behind.
As far as landlines are concerned, it’s a bit better. “Nationally, only 5% of households did not have access to either landlines or cell phones. Households without access to these communication media were most common in Northern Cape (13.6%) and Eastern Cape (10.6%). Merely 0.2% of South African households used only landlines. By comparison, 81.9% of South African households used only cellular phones in their dwellings,” Stats SA wrote in its report.
Limpopo is the province in South Africa that has the highest use of mobile phones only, with over 92%, while Mpumalanga and North West was close to 90%. In contrast, 63% of Western Cape citizens had only a mobile phone.
The more affluent provinces of Gauteng and Western Cape has the highest use of a combination of both cellular phones and landlines in households.
Back to internet access, and mobile use is by far and away the most common way of getting online. 37.5% of city dwellers use smart devices on the go, compared to just over a quarter who have access at work and 16.4% who have ADSL or a 3G router at home. Want to know how those figures split up in other areas? Here’s a few more charts from the report showing access at home, at work, on mobile phone or through a third party place like schools or internet cafes across the regions.
“It is clear that mobile access to the internet has made it much more accessible to households in rural areas,” say the report’s authors. “Whereas only 2,0%, 3,2% and 2,6% of households respectively had access to the Internet at home, at work and elsewhere, almost 18% had access through mobile devices. Mobile devices also created opportunities in urban areas where larger proportions of urban and metro households had access to the Internet through mobile devices in KwaZulu‐Natal and Gauteng.”[Source – Stats SA]