Of the 37 million adults living in South Africa, 32 million own a cell phone, 53% of those adults are below age 35, 78% are black and 55% live in urban areas. This was revealed by Gustav Praekelt from the Praekelt foundation as he presented some of the findings of the Mobile Rocks report during his talk at Mobile Web Africa.

The Mobile Rocks report is a review of the Silverstone Mobile Medium A Mobile Marketing Association South Africa (MMASA) AMPS Mobile Review.

The numbers take both smart and basic (or feature) phones into consideration, with the numbers broken up between the two segments.

More females own smartphones than men, with females dominating at 52% and men at 48%. Gauteng is the province with the most cell phone users at 27% and Northern Cape has the lowest number of users at 1%, which makes sense as they are the most and least populated provinces in the country respectively.


In terms of basic phone versus smartphone ownership, a large percentage of South African (adult) cellphone owners still use basic cell phones (39%), but smartphones dominate at 48%.

The infographic below shows you how the users are divided according to race, location, level of education, employment status and so on:


Furthermore, 1.8 million South Africans own a tablet, 6.4 million have a fixed internet connection while 11.7 million have mobile internet access.

mobilerocks-south-africa-2014-part-2-the-mobile-audience-9-638Think please call me’s are a dying form of communication? According to the Mobile Rocks report, cell phone activity is broken up as follows:

1. Receive Please call me message : 28.7m
2. Send Please call me message : 24.5m
3. Send and Receive an SMS : 24.4m
4. Take photos : 17.7m
5. Mobile data activities : 17.5m
6. Listen Radio : 12.1m
7. Take video : 11.3m
8. Internet : 11.1m
9. IM / Chat : 10.8m
10. Download Music : 10.6m

“The bottom line is that in South Africa we live in a mobile first society,” Praekelt explained.

You can have a look at in-depth infographics on each mobile product and internet usage on Aitch, and view the full report by mailing [email protected]

[Source – Silverstone South Africa SlideShare, Image – Shutterstock]